ReachTEL: 50-50

ReachTEL has become the latest poll from which Malcolm Turnbull’s honeymoon lead of late last year has vanished altogether.

The latest ReachTEL poll for the Seven Network has the two parties level on two-party preferred, after the Coalition led 52-48 in last month’s poll, and 54-46 in the poll before that. Full results should be up on the ReachTEL site shortly.

UPDATE: And here they are. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down from 46.6% to 43.5%, Labor is up from 34.4% to 35.8%, the Greens are down from 10.5% to 9.8%, and the Nick Xenophon Team supplants Palmer United as the poll’s fifth option, registering 3.8%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister is down only slightly, from 60-40 to 58.4-41.6, but his combined very good and good rating is down from 29.6% to 25.5%, with poor plus very poor up from 34.1% to 36.6%. Shorten’s ratings are respectively up from 21.1% to 23.4%, and down from 47.3% to 42.4%. Respondents were asked to rate Scott Morrison’s performance as Treasurer, recording 21.5% very good plus good and 37.2% very poor plus poor, with 37.0% opting for average, and to indicate whether they thought Turnbull was a better (53.0%) or worse (18.3%) prime minister than Tony Abbott. A question on a royal commission into the banking sector found 54.1% supportive and 18.3% opposed. The automated phone poll was conducted last night from a sample of 2415, which is a bit smaller than the ReachTEL norm.

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.

1,131 comments on “ReachTEL: 50-50”

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  1. [If ordinary voters either don’t know or care where their economic interests lie this time around – they must be brain dead and deserve what they get.]


  2. sohar@50

    Actually second PM to have a purely ceremonial role…the first was TA….court jester/village idiot…take your pick

  3. [50

    Turnbull must be the first Australian PM to have a purely ceremonial role.]

    And it shows. Executive initiative has been outsourced to the LOTO.

  4. Beyond the general downward trends on both the primaries/TPP and Turnbull’s approval ratings, the results of these two questions don’t bode well for the Coalition at all:

    [Respondents were asked to rate Scott Morrison’s performance as Treasurer, recording 21.5% very good plus good and 37.2% very poor plus poor, with 37.0% opting for average

    A question on a royal commission into the banking sector found 54.1% supportive and 18.3% opposed.]

  5. The wording on the question on support for an RC into banks was interesting

    “Would you support or oppose Malcolm Turnbull setting up a Royal Commission into the banks?”

    It’s a double barrel question.

    1. Do you want an RC into the banks
    2. Do you think Malcolm should do it

    I would guess the number of people say “yes” to the first question is significantly higher than 54% but adding the rider than Malcom should do it would reduce that enthusiasm.

    Given it’s an ALP policy it was a strange sort of way to gauge people support.

  6. Introducing concepts of race and culture and problematic in any setting.
    It would be easier if such things didn’t exist and by pretending that they don’t (especially in the West) we hope that they won’t.

    The reality is that while ‘other people’ see race & culture as real, and hold that the differences between ‘theirs’ and ‘others’ is distinct, and real and worth taking action over the issue will be made real even for those who do not see it as so.

    E.g. If a Jew didn’t believe in the concept of race, nor of someone taking action over it, it would not have saved them from the Nazis.

    Realising the threat they were under and taking action in regard to it was what saved them.

    The world is not beyond race, not yet.

    Have a problem with race? -substitute this then:

    Everyone has a right to pass on the DNA and and culture of their ancestors provided they do so with respect to the global balance of life, and human life and should not be mistreated in any way because of the cultural group or bloodlines/DNA sequences to which they belong.

    You can insert, because we know from history and science that those bloodlines are often mixed, almost always (always?) intersect at some point and that pretty much all cultures are combinations of earlier cultures that were shared (at some ancestral point).

    The reality? The world has many competing interests that are often not benign to those outside their group. These groups can be religious, economic, racial (as imperfect as that term is) or anything else.

    Anybody in those groups owes it to their follows (and ancestors) to act with knowledge of the above and not unwittingly become the victim of future oppression through actions taken today.

    Rid the world of nutters that argue or won’t let others rights get in the way of their actions and the need to adopt a defensive posture (or at least awareness) of consequences of ones actions’ disappear. Fail to do the former though and doing the latter would be quiet unwise.

    No position of power is unassailable and no position of weakness can be certain of freedom from persecution.

  7. Work to Rule @58

    That wording would/could flush out Liberal supporters of a Royal Commission, which ran at 46.7%.

    If asked if they’d support Shorten setting one up, fair money would say the number would have been lower.

  8. Respondents were asked to rate Scott Morrison’s performance as Treasurer, recording 21.5% very good plus good and 37.2% very poor plus poor, with 37.0% opting for average.

    I would imagine most of that 37.0% probably had no idea so just selected average. That might well change come the budget and subsequent election.

  9. The Turnbull tide swept in to a very high, high water mark and now the tide is going out just as quickly.

    I think Malcolm thought his Prime Ministership could be the equivalent of his leather jacket and his dazzling white smile but politics just isn’t like that. You have to have a substantial basis to your reputation. It’s not like ‘The West Wing’, or even ‘House of Cards’, and in Julie Bishop’s case, she is no ‘Madam Secretary’.

    Unless, of course, you are Bob Hawke and can combine an animal magnetism with superior intelligence and negotiating brilliance. THEN you can carry it off.

    Not Malcolm Turnbull though. People are fast realising that he is an empty suit. An Armani suit maybe but even that won’t/can’t hide the lack of substance inside it.

    To which you can add that such an observation is amply exemplified by the Coalition’s fixation with the fit of Bill Shorten’s suits. All that comment by Scott Morrison did was prove how shallow and superficial the Coalition are.

    Basically, they are a bunch of posers. And if there’s one thing Australians don’t like, it’s poseurs.

    I guess that’s why, despite his manifest failings, the electorate liked Tony Abbott. He was and always has been a fitness freak and a man of conviction. He was/is also an ideological zealot and a practiced liar. After that went on show his ability to relate to the average Australian, who prides themselves on being basically fair and reasonable, took a nosedive.

    Enter Malcolm Turnbull and his qanda leather jacket and his dazzling smile. People thought they knew what he stood for, on Climate Change, on Same Sex Marriage, on the Republic.

    However, yet again they are finding out they have been sold a bundle of goods and what they thought he stood for they found he could jettison over the side of the Ship of State as quick as it took to sew up the votes necessary to shoehorn himself into The Lodge.

    And like the Cheshire Cat, the dazzling white smile is evaporating under the harsh light of scrutiny and under the leather jacket there are no other clothes.

    The suit is empty, and the promises are empty.

  10. Demographics in your favour are a source of power.
    Demographics going against you is a significant weakness and correlate significantly with war and victimisation.

    You can apply this to all cultures and at all times.

    Demographics point to Jewish, Buddhist, European and Agnostic/Athiest peoples being the next victims.

    This is not to say that the answer is to act terribly to people that aren’t in the above! but a warning that people categorised in the above need to be working extra hard to create a world and demographics where the situation between cultures and peoples can be equalised (without in the meantime giving up the means of protection).

  11. My comment is and thanks for listening, don’t want to bore people here, but it’s only Reachtel and like Ipsos is dicey because it’s done by vested interests.
    Newspoll is the long term reliable poll for many years.

    From my point of view as a conservative I see two Labor Parties, both about to spend billions to win an election.

    I do hope Bill Shorten will show some restraint. Giant spending promises will kill his chances. And certainly he should not support fast trains and concentrate on funding NDIS, NBN and Gonski. He must have a plan. We all know Labor spend too much when in government and break the budget. It’s my opinion he needs to differentiate himself from Rudd/Gillard years and become fiscally conservative.

  12. [59


    It will help Labor.

    I hope so!]

    When it comes to offering the prospect of stable Government, there is only one horse in this race. It also helps to have a leader who actually, demonstrably, consistently believes in their policies. The Turnbot believes in nothing and it shows.

  13. Of course it is hard to imagine the above for someone in a prosperous house, in a prosperous society where they are not currently subjected to robbery and persecution.

    All people on top felt like that at one stage though – hell, this is the very excuse given by climate change deniers “I can’t feel it now so it is not happening”.

    Like climate change, when you feel it, it is too late.
    You need to look at scientifically – quality the change of balance in the last century and how it is changing daily – look at the forces involved and how they are acting and then review what likely consequences will follow.

    You can say culture and race (ancestral DNA inheritance) don’t matter, “who cares if we die out?” but I would hope you would not say that about Aborigines, or American Indian’s or anyone else. E.g. replace the “we” with the name of a people and see if you feel the same.

  14. [68

    We all know Labor spend too much when in government and break the budget.]

    This is a fallacy. Labor consistently spend less than those fiscal frauds, the LNP. Labor are good at public finance. The LNP don’t begin to understand the concept.

  15. victoria

    [I have no idea how popular John Laws is these days]
    Jeebus I had no idea he was still alive let alone popular !

  16. briefly:

    On the issue of stability it might be a different story if Abbott announced his intention to retire at the next election. With Rudd gone from Caucus, Labor has united behind Shorten and even Fitzgibbon has been silent. I reckon it could well be the same for the Libs if Abbott departs the scene.

    Fortunately for Labor he shows no signs of intending to. 🙂

  17. poroti@74


    I have no idea how popular John Laws is these days

    Jeebus I had no idea he was still alive let alone popular !

    Looked mummified last time I saw him.

  18. @68 prettyone

    The LNP run high-taxing, high-spending governments and this one is no exception. They are increasing debt and running deficits. If anyone’s profligacy should concern you, it’s that of the current government.

    I’m sure that as a self-described ‘conservative’ your ‘hope [that]Bill Shorten will show some restraint’ will be given the consideration it deserves.

  19. There will be no hung parliament. The prospect of a hung parliament will scare the mob in one direction in order to escape it.

    Which direction that is, only time will tell.

    I’m not getting my hopes up it will be in Labor’s direction just yet.

  20. PrettyOne,

    I think the ReachTel is meant to be quite good, but I also prefer the Newspoll at the moment, since it’s most recent was 51-49 to the ALP.

  21. Bluey Bulletin 26 Day 26 of 103

    Nice to see Bill walking hand in hand with Chloe.

    Bluey reckons that there is growing disquiet on the domestic front on Turnbull’s general silence about the behaviour of the Red Dragon. Bluey reckons that the US is playing norty buggers by landing marines in Darwin at exactly the same time as Turnbull is in Shanghai.

    Bluey is getting heartily sick of Morrison’s penchant for saying outright lies.


    Remember Little Johnny and Bro Stan? Bluey notes that the ‘Government’ is stumping up $70 million in workers’ entitlements is totally absurd. It is essentially a tax on everyone to meet the ethical obligations of the extremely wealthy. No doubt Cash will cash in on it politically.

    Bluey cannot recall a single person who is less worth interviewing. You push a button you get the answer. You push another button you get the answer. You push another button you get the answer. It is metronomic. This extreme self-control and self-discipline was evident during the Great Senate Voting Rules Filibuster where the Cormanator resolutely and with great persistence held things together for the Government. Bluey no longer listens when the Cormanator is being interviewed.

    Verdict for the day: Evens
    Labor 18.5 Liberal 7.5.

  22. Prettyone @ 68

    [it’s only Reachtel and like Ipsos is dicey because it’s done by vested interests.
    Newspoll is the long term reliable poll for many years.]

    The only vested interest that polling companies have is in being as accurate as possible in order to get the polling commissions that actually make it money. Newspoll methodology has been found by poll aggregators to be routinely more accurate – though not by any means absolutely accurately.

    Frankly, I grew out of the idea that polls published its results skewed towards political benefit of one side or the other years ago.

  23. bemused @ 79,

    ‘(John Laws) Looked mummified last time I saw him.’

    I thought he’d been pickled in alcohol? 😉

  24. They get a huge ‘Free’ ride and still won’t behave –

    [ Taxpayers gifting big banks $1.4 billion a year

    Standard & Poor’s says that if the country’s credit rating falls one notch to “AA+”, which is likely in the absence of ballsy reform, “{the major banks’} issuer credit rating would be lowered to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-‘”.

    …Recall that the majors and Macquarie profit from a valuable yet non-priced subsidy via a two-notch increase in their credit ratings on the assumption that they, and only they, will receive “extraordinary government support” in a crisis.

    Crucially, this allows them to raise money more cheaply than rivals.

    Yet if Australia’s credit rating drops below AAA, one of these notches will evaporate.

    …Our econometric modelling using all publicly traded bonds implies that the two-notch upgrade reduces the cost of the banks’ senior bonds by about 0.28 percentage points annually.

    Given roughly $385 billion in senior funding across the majors and Macquarie, taxpayers are gifting them almost $1.1 billion per annum.

    Add to that the 0.05 percentage point value of the free government guarantee covering $750 billion of deposits, which amounts to another $375 million per annum (this was the price of the levy proposed by Labor and verified by Treasury but dumped by the Liberals).

    In total, the majors and Macquarie are getting taxpayer subsidies worth at least $1.4 billion annually because government is too lazy to price or remove them.]

    Read more:

  25. Apropos of something, it’s a dire old world when international relations scholars with a penchant for applying social Darwinism to human relationships as a pretext for justifying preemptive warmongering are gaining traction.

    It should take us back to the start of the 20th century.

    What’s next, eugenics as serious science?

    ‘Embarrassing’ doesn’t begin to describe it…

  26. [We all know Labor spend too much when in government and break the budget.]

    We also all know that Liberal politicians want to crush the working people into the ground because they despise low-paid employees as losers and leaners.

  27. Briefly

    My take is that the electorate know Labor spend too much. Good intentions for the country – but spend too much.

    On a personal note, I have close buddies and family all Labor voters who say the same and expect M. Turnbull to rein in the debt and spin magic and the economy thrives.

    (I’m the black sheep, being conservative – lol. It’s best not to talk politics as harmony is better).

  28. Gecko @ 39,
    Do not despair. I am sure that someone will soon put a latter day Lenin in a sealed train and lob him or her into Canberra to disrupt and take over any Labor government who may happen to get elected.

    The real enemy of change is those democratic socialist parties who prevent the revolution from succeeding.

  29. [Bluey is getting heartily sick of Morrison’s penchant for saying outright lies.]

    Well he certainly isn’t alone on that front!

  30. C@tmomma@87

    bemused @ 79,

    ‘(John Laws) Looked mummified last time I saw him.’

    I thought he’d been pickled in alcohol?

    Could be that. Or he drank embalming fluid by mistake. 😛

  31. Pettywun, The current Newspoll is run by Galaxy, and has nothing to do with the Newspoll, run by News Ltd itself, which ceased and desisted as of June 2015. The Galaxy Newspoll has never been tested by a real election. There is no point of comparison between pre and post June 2015 so-called Newspolls, so any statements about its ‘reliability’ are horseshit.

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