ReachTEL: 50-50

Little post-budget movement one way or the other in the latest ReachTEL poll for Seven, while Roy Morgan offers yet more evidence of Malcolm Turnbull’s diminishing personal standing.

A ReachTEL poll conducted for Seven last night finds two-party preferred at 50-50, unchanged on the last such result three weeks ago. Primary votes are likewise little changed, with the Coalition up 0.9% to 41.4%, Labor down 0.7% to 35.1%, the Greens down 0.3% to 9.5% and the Nick Xenophon Team is up 0.4% to 4.2%. ReachTEL has slightly changed its methodology in that there is now an undecided option on the first question, with those selecting it then prompted as to who they are leaning towards, which more closely replicates the established practice of live interview phone pollsters. The results show 8.5% of respondents choosing the undecided, and then showing a lesser tendency of first responders to favour Labor, and a considerably stronger tendency to favour “others”.

The poll also finds an overall negative response to the budget, with 33.8% saying it has made them less likely to vote Coalition compared with 16.6% for more likely. On the question of personal impact, 7.1% said it would make them better off, 33.4% worse off and 59.4% the same. There is still a view that the government will be returned, with 49.1% saying they expect the Coalition to win, 28.1% opting for Labor and 22.8% choosing a hung parliament option that for many would have been a proxy for “don’t know”. On personal ratings, ReachTEL records the first improvement in Malcolm Turnbull’s position this year, his combined very good and good rating being up from 25.5% to 28.1%, while poor is down from 36.6% to 34.5%. Bill Shorten is respectively up from 23.3% to 24.6%, and up from 42.2% to 44.0%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down very slightly, from 58.4-41.6 to 57.7-42.3.

There are also personal ratings today from Roy Morgan, which has published one of its occasional phone polls on the subject, in this case a survey of 584 respondents conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. The results were published through separate releases focusing on Turnbull and Shorten and preferred Labor and Liberal leader. Along with the revelation that voting intention among the sample broke 51-49 in favour of the Coalition, the poll found the following:

• Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister is 57-24, well down on the 76-14 lead he recorded at the last such poll in mid-October. The net change of 29% compares with a 22.8% shift in the BludgerTrack trend measure between that time and April 15, which was the last time new leadership data became available.

• Turnbull’s approval rating is down 23% to 43%, with his disapproval up 25% to 41%. The net change of 48% compares with 42.1% in the equivalent reading from BludgerTrack.

• Shorten is up nine on approval to 34% and down 13% on disapproval to 49% – a 22% net shift to compare with just 6.9% from BludgerTrack.

• Malcolm Turnbull’s rating as preferred Liberal leader has slumped from 64% to 41%, while Julie Bishop’s has doubled to 24%. Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and Scott Morrison continue milling around in single digits.

• Despite his improved standing, Bill Shorten is in third place as preferred Labor, which is at least one better than he managed last time. Tanya Plibersek is down five to 22%, Anthony Albanese is down three to 20%, Bill Shorten is up five to 14%, Wayne Swan is down two to 8% and, in a rejoinder to the beard skeptics, Chris Bowen is up three to 8%.

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.

1,575 comments on “ReachTEL: 50-50”

  1. swamprat @ #1545 Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Talking of polls, i have always found the question “Would you be more or less likely to vote for the LNP if Gengis Pinochet was the leader?” so ludicrous as i would NEVER vote LNP. The question implies that every voter is a potential LNP associate.

    Then your answer is “no change” – you’re not any more or less likely to vote for the Coalition.

  2. PoSS

    VoteCompass is still garbage and anyway a political “scientist” is an absurdity. You mean a political student, surely?

  3. SimonBanksHB: According to @TurnbullMalcolm investing in education “is absolutely designed to stop our economic progress in its tracks”

    Out of touch

  4. Chris Kenny on Skynews has said the Newspoll has the govt behind, but talked about how close things are, so its probably another 51-49 to the ALP.

  5. Airlines

    I have always answered “less likely”, though I admit I am a bit dishonest. I just did not want them to interpret “no change” as meaning I would vote LNP regardless of who is their Fuhrer.

  6. Did others like Kenny’s characterisation of the election as “politics of envy” vs “lower taxes and higher growth”?
    Methinks questioning the government giving money away to wealthy people is a bit different from envying people for having money.

  7. Socrates@1402

    Thanks for the vote compass link. I finished up halfway between the Greens and Labor. I too wish the Greens- Labor wars would stop.

    I actually agree, and I have not covered myself in glory with this today. I will cease and desist for the rest of the campaign.

  8. Apparently in more breathtaking Logies news Z grade celebrity and former cricketer Shane Warne spat the dummy with The Age this evening on the red carpet. OMG Faine will be talking about this for days.

  9. VoteCompass is still garbage and anyway a political “scientist” is an absurdity. You mean a political student, surely?

    I’m sure William will be glad to read your slur on his profession.

  10. One poll does not a swallow make (something like that) but with all the polls expected this week we will get an idea of how the parties are traveling.

  11. The LNP is trying to establish (with the support of Murdoch and the predictable gang) the proposition than any questioning of the unbounded wealth and power of the elite is “class warfare”.

    That may scare a sufficient number of the plebs off voting against their Masters but i hope the ALP can get stuck in.

    Though Australia needs a good quality class biff to clear the accumulated shit.

  12. Warnie was pissed that Fairfax sprung him on his questionable charity accounting policies Steven. When you have a brother on 300k a year as CEO well…

  13. Newspoll 2PP 51-49 to ALP
    Coalition 41, Labor 37
    Turnbull: Satisfied 38, Dissatisfied 49
    Shorten: Satisfied 33, Dissatisfied 52
    Better PM Turnbull 49, Shorten 27
    1739 sample May 5-7

  14. Very ‘meh’ Newspoll. Only thing interesting to me is the ALP primary at 37… that’s getting closer to where it needs to be.

  15. President Of The Solipsist Society
    #1539 Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 9:50 pm
    Boring, moronic Vote Compass bashing from commentators here, undoubtedly upset it reveals that the Greens have a policy platform closer to their own stance than Labor’s.

    Two things, Tom et al: first, the entire thing is designed and run by political scientists, not the ABC or any other part of the MSM. And second, you can weight policy areas according to how important you consider them.

    Step up your game.

    Based on a user’s responses to a series of propositions that reflect salient aspects of the campaign discourse, Vote Compass calculates the alignment between the user’s personal views and the positions of the political parties. Party positions were determined by way of a comprehensive review of the public statements made by party officials on the topics included in Vote Compass. Each of the parties included in Vote Compass was directly consulted throughout this process and invited on multiple occassions to review the findings and provide feedback. (accessed 8/5/16)

    I have been a data scientist for the last twenty years and the first thing I looked for was the methodology. It is lacking in that it does not state by who, how or why “salient” issues are selected. As a data scientist, this makes the methodology open to question and would stop it being accepted as peer reviewed (i.e. valid academic research).

    So the only one here that feels the need to call everyone that disagrees with them as being “boring and moronic” instead of debating like an adult is the President of the Fantasy society. So, like you say, step up your game.


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