It’s on: Newspoll, Ipsos, Galaxy

The official start of the election campaign has been marked by three new polls confirming the impression of a very tight race.

As the campaign for a July 2 double dissolution election officially begins, three big polling guns have sounded:

• In The Australian, Newspoll records a 51-49 lead to Labor, unchanged on the last result three weeks ago, from primary votes of Coalition 41% (steady), Labor 37% (up one) and Greens 11% (steady). Malcolm Turnbull is on 38% approval (up two) and 49% disapproval (steady), with Bill Shorten respectively on 33% (up two) and 52% (steady). Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is 49-27, little changed on the 47-28 result last time. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of about 1739. Hat tip: James J in comments.

• In the Fairfax papers, Ipsos goes the other way, with a 51-49 lead to the Coalition after a 50-50 result three weeks ago. The Coalition is up two on the primary vote to 44%, with Labor and the Greens steady on 33% and 14%. Despite that, there’s been a big improvement in Bill Shorten’s personal ratings, his approval up five to 38% and disapproval down six to 49%. Turnbull’s ratings, which have been markedly better from Ipsos than Newspoll, have him down three on approval to 48%, and up two on disapproval to 40%. The poll also found the budget to be deemed fair by 37% and unfair by 43%, which compares with 52% and 33% after last year’s budget, and 33% and 63% after the disaster the year before (when the series was conducted by Nielsen rather than Ipsos). Fifty-three per cent of respondents expected the Coalition would win the election, compared with 24% for Labor.

• News Corp’s Sunday tabloids also had a Galaxy poll overnight that had the result at 50-50, from primary votes of Coalition 42%, Labor 36% and Greens 11%. While the Newspoll and Galaxy result both come from the same firm and involved a combination of online and phone polling, the phone polling for the Galaxy result was, I believe, live interview rather than automated. The Galaxy also found low recognition of Scott Morrison as Treasurer (48%) and Chris Bowen as Shadow Treasurer (18%), and had a few attidinal questions whose wording Labor wouldn’t have minded: “Do you consider it fair or unfair that only workers earning more than $80,000 a year got a tax cut in the budget?”, recording 28% for fair and 62% for unfair, and “do you support or oppose Labor’s plan to leave the deficit levy in place so that workers earning over $180,000 a year pay more tax?”, which got 63% for support and 21% for oppose. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Friday from a sample of 1270.

I’ll be running all that through the Bludgermator a little later to produce BludgerTrack projections, so watch this space.

UPDATE: BludgerTrack has had a feel of the four new opinion polls and found them to be, if not exactly budget bouncy, then tending to ameliorate what was probably an excessively favourable reading for Labor last week. The Coalition is now credited with having its nose in front on two-party preferred, assisted by a ReachTEL result that was better for them than the headline figure of 50-50 made it appear. That was based on respondent-allocated preferences, but on 2013 election preferences it comes out as 51.6-48.4. I don’t have any state data from the latest round of polls, so the state relativities are unchanged from last week’s result. The seat projection has the Coalition clearly back in majority government territory after making one gain apiece in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. Note that primary vote and two-party charts are now featured below going back to the start of the year, with a further two-party chart continuing to show progress since the start of the term. Three polls have provided new leadership ratings, including the Morgan poll together with Newspoll and Ipsos. The trend results suggest Malcolm Turnbull’s downward plunge might at least be levelling off, but an improvement for Bill Shorten that can be traced back to the start of the year is, if anything, gaining momentum.


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.

1,094 comments on “It’s on: Newspoll, Ipsos, Galaxy”

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  1. Does the Herald Sun headline have the smell of Kroger’s work again to divide the left?
    It sounds like that, with vague rumours and speculations like a Lib leak.

    The sister paper the Daily Telegraph is doing just that openly smearing any other non-Coalition party with mis-truths.

  2. Democrats thought they had all the votes they were going to get from the Left and started moving to the right, hence the deal with Howard on GST the only thing they didn’t relies was the were heading right out the door

    Ok, this is ancient history and I don’t see a lot of blood to be squeezed from that stone, but I’ve seen a couple of comments about the Democrats GST deal and the “Keep the Bastards Honest” slogan.

    There was (and apparently it’s still a live topic so let’s say there still is) a lot of confusion and misrepresentation as to what the Democrats (and their famous slogan) actually stood for. “Keep the Bastards Honest” is about holding the government of the day (as much as possible given the limits on being a balance-of-power minor party) to keep the promises they made at the election.

    At the 1998 election the Libs went with a clear platform for the GST. They formed government. To “keep the bastards honest” in those circumstances was to make sure they kept their election commitment to … bring in the GST, which is what happened.

    Sure, the Democrats wrestled with this and their evolving image – many Democrats supporters thought that the party was about being a progressive political force and were (obviously) very disappointed by the Democrats doing what they always said they would do in supporting the GST if the Libs were elected.

    The central premise of the Democrats was this strange apolitical notion – that the Democrats were there to make the functioning of parliament and government work better and to ensure the output of parliament was closer to what people actually voted for. As it turned out most of the people who supported the Democrats didn’t understand what the Democrats were actually about, so the “support base” for the Democrats simply evaporated when things got messy (and of course the Greens and other parties came along to pick up the various progressive voters and protest voters that were for a time the Democrats’ ‘base’).

    The Democrats were a good and interesting feature of the Australian political system while the party lived. I think it’s a great shame they (we!) failed and that there isn’t more focus now placed on that process aspect – about making parliament work better for the people, not so much focused on the all-out take-no-prisoners politics we’ve seen of late.

    But the Australian Democrats are gone. All I’d say is if you’re going to reference AD history that you at least try to get the references right so you are making accurate historical comparisons.

  3. If I claim that there is a conspiracy between the Liberal and Greens to make the sun rise tomorrow, when the sun does in fact rise tomorrow, are you all going to conclude that the conspiracy is real? Of course not, that would be stupid.

  4. In Sydney the response is “is it true or did you read it in the Telecrap?” Maybe the same goes for the Herald Scum.

  5. As a long time Labor Supporter, if you can call all my life long time, I do think Green voters vote with their hearts no by preference deals. I don’t think any deal with the Libs will help the Libs win seats but it might help the Greens take some Labor seats which would reduce the number of seats Labor needs to form Government.

  6. The Senate just dissolved did a pretty good job of keeping the ex-nuptuals, if not honest, then at least unable to implement much of their hidden agenda.

  7. The Democrats couldn’t decide whether they were a centre party or soft left. They fell between two stools. Probably their soft left constituency went to the rising Greens while the remainder drifted back to Labor and Liberal.

  8. Watching Q&A.

    The Libs will of a certainty have their dirt unit all over this Duncan guy looking for connections to the ALP. If he’s genuine, he’s a major asset for the left.

  9. The Democrats couldn’t decide whether they were a centre party or soft left.

    There was a clear mismatch between the expectations of a large group of Democrats members and voters and the principles of the party.

    Again, the central premise was that the Democrats would ‘keep the bastards honest’ in terms of the party-of-government’s promises. If you’re going to do that then you actually have to be reasonably apolitical. If the Libs get elected you have to respect the Liberal platform being implemented – knock a few rough edges off of legislation as it goes through, but if you block the government of the day (be it Lib or Labor) from implementing stuff that they clearly took to the election, then you’re not “keeping the bastards honest”.

    Yes, the tension between being functionally apolitical in a political system, and the desire of many members/supporters for the party to stand for something when the party was created to not actually stand for any specific platform … it all came apart in the end.

  10. Airlines @ 1050,

    I’d define the Herald Sun as having a fevered imagination at times
    Be that as it may, the Herald Sun simply can’t make things up and put it on their front page.

  11. Paywalled, you’ll need to google the title & click through. Read the whole thing before passing judgement.

    Liberals ready to team with Greens to oust David Feeney from Melbourne seat Batman
    May 9, 2016 10:05pm
    Ellen Whinnett Herald Sun

    THE Liberal Party is on the brink of a controversial deal with the Greens to oust Labor powerbroker David Feeney in the heartland seat of Batman.

    Negotiations between the Liberals and the Greens to marginalise the Labor Party at the July 2 general election would see them preference the minor party in the Labor seats of Batman and Wills, and the Greens’ seat of Melbourne.

    In return, the Greens would issue open tickets — not preferencing Labor ahead of the Liberals — in outer-suburban seats.

    The final deal on those seats has not been done, but talks revolve around Liberal seats Corangamite and Dunkley, and Labor marginals Chisholm and Bruce.

    Preferencing is where a party tells its voters in what order to number the candidates on the ballot paper.

    The move is being driven by the Liberal Party’s Victorian president, Michael Kroger, who is aiming to force Labor to divert cash and resources into fighting the Greens in the inner city instead of the Liberals in the outer suburbs.

  12. Catmomma

    Before I go to bed. Have you been watching Media Watch? Penguin Books got fined for using newspaper standards on a story.

  13. Guytaur,
    Yes I saw Media Watch tonight. I guess higher standards have been legislated for books was my take. May have come from the Bob Ellis court case and others.

  14. Greens: Let’s set the record straight: the Greens will not preference the Liberals anywhere in the country but the same can’t be said of Labor.


    My opinion on this story?

    Considering that a potential preference deal between the Greens and the Liberals has been on the record for month(s?) now, and this ‘new’ story doesn’t actually tell us anything new about the deal that we already didn’t know (only that the Liberal party is ‘on the brink’ of formulating it), I’d say it’s a desperate attempt on the part of Liberal Party Officials and those sympathetic to the Liberal cause to keep a stale story alive and to keep Labor-Greens tensions simmering until Election Day.

  16. There was a conversation some hours ago regarding Waleed Aly. One commenter said Aly has his blind spots, especially about Turnbull.

    I noticed this once tuning in to him on radio a couple years back where he was talking about the NBN and simply assuming Turnbull wasn’t lying.


  17. Be that as it may, the Herald Sun simply can’t make things up and put it on their front page.

    Yes they can, and yes they will do.

    I don’t know if the story is true, and neither do you. I won’t believe it until it’s backed up by a more reliable source than a Mordorch tabloid, and so should you.

  18. The electorate level betting market has stabilised into being more or less in line with the available aggregated polling. Labor currently favoured in 67 seats. The market opened last week looking like it was based on a February (ie outdated) edition of bludgertrack with several seats at very silly prices. They got snapped up very quickly.

    Today there has been a bit of further firming of Labor odds in the NSW and QLD marginals with Macquarie for example into $2.20 and both Bonner and Forde into $2.00. Interestingly three seats have moved back into Liberal favouritism now after the initial market reaction put Labor in front. They are Corangamite, Cowan and Lingiari. This somewhat balanced by Dobell yesterday and now Swan today moving into Labor favouritism.

    Bradden and Bass have firmed as Liberal wins while Labor remains the punters’ favourite in Lyons. Labor is also still favourite in Hindmarsh. Mayo is the seat regarded as the most likely reps gain for NXT at $3.60.

    Maybe there is the odd signal amongst this noise. One thing that stands out is that the market moved very quickly to correct the odds showing the libs only losing a handful of seats.

  19. Ha! Suddenly when the RBA says changing NG is a good idea – the LNP declare it ‘unremarkable’….

    Are there any wheel bolts holding their wheels on?

  20. [Are there any wheel bolts holding their wheels on?]
    If they start talking about asylum seekers a lot you know they are losing.

  21. Libs don’t do facts. They only do memes. And they wouldn’t get away with them if not for our pathetic / craven media.

  22. Norwester
    I agree with both points unfortunately about this time the posts and the readers of same dry up. including me off to bed.

  23. I’d say it’s a desperate attempt on the part of Liberal Party Officials and those sympathetic to the Liberal cause to keep a stale story alive and to keep Labor-Greens tensions simmering until Election Day.

    Yup. Agreed. Really, not much more worth saying on that.

  24. Commenter on Guardian site reckons Mossack Fonseca 800 Aussie list will be searchable on the Australian Financial Review site after 4am AEST.

  25. EG Theodore
    #1015 Monday, May 9, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Willox suggesting getting rid of stamp duties and instead have a federal land tax

    Land tax is in fact paid by tenants. It’s a flat tax met from the revenue of tenants regardless of their net income. Land tax is highly regressive.

  26. Guytaur
    #1070 Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 12:24 am
    ABCNews24: .@RichardDiNatale: We won’t be preferencing the Liberal Party ahead of the Labor Party in one seat #Greens #ausvotes

    The G’s should be renamed the D’s….the Disingenuous Party. They fool no-one but themselves. Voters will understand very clearly. The D’s are helping the LNP defeat Labor candidates. The conclusion we should draw is the D’s prefer to see the worst Government in Australian history remain in office. The D’s are saboteurs working to advantage the LNP.

  27. Morning all. So our Great Economic Managers have been warned about negative gearing by the RBA since 2014! They did nothing for two budgets, since this goes back to when that great negative gearer himself, Joe Hockey, was still Treasurer.

    The full text of the RBA briefing note (so it surely went to Hockey’s office and probably PMC and Corman) is worth reading.

    – speculation and bidding up of house prices was mentioned
    – financial security and instability were concerns
    – capping or “any change” to reduce NG were advocated
    – increase in rents was only “potential?” So not a great fear
    – the first two pages are redacted so there is more dirt out there. Did the RBA warn about risk to our credit rating.

    This is a scandal. Joe Hockey was too personally conflicted by his own investments to do his job properly as Treasurer. Neither Morrison nor Turnbull have attempted to fix the mess since.

  28. Just heard Cormann angrily stating that the Reserve Bank negative gearing memo “precedes Labor’s policy and doesn’t refer to Labor’s policy”

    Kind of like a BIS Schrapnel report then

  29. it might help the Greens take some Labor seats which would reduce the number of seats Labor needs to form Government.

    The Greens vote with Labor on non-confidence motions and supply bills, meaning it makes no difference to who forms government. More Green MPs keep Labor on its toes and push the Overton window of acceptable public policy options to the left. This increases the quality of public policy-making because the whole system has drifted far to the right during the past thirty-three years.

  30. I hope that the industry based superannuation funds campaign against the coalition considering that the coalition wants to change the way in which the funds are administered.

  31. Crosby/Textor have thrown a couple of dead cats into the ring (immigration, Green-Labor coalition) get the media away from issues they don’t like. A lot of negative focus on Bill, together with the false but believable idea that the Liberals are the safer economic managers should get them across the line.

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