ReachTEL: 50-50; Ipsos: 51-49 to Coalition

Two new national polls do nothing to dispel perceptions of a tight race, and they’re accompanied by another result showing Labor with its nose in front in the key outer Sydney seat of Macarthur.

Two new national polls this evening, plus a local one from the electorate of Macarthur:

• The latest Ipsos result for the Fairfax papers, which we can now expect on Friday night rather than Sunday at least for the period of the campaign, has the Coalition two-party lead unchanged at 51-49, with the Coalition primary vote down a point to 43%, Labor up one to 34%, and the Greens steady on 14%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 51-29 to 47-30, and his approval rating is steady on 48%, with disapproval down two to 38%. Bill Shorten is respectively up two to 40% and down three to 46%. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1497, compared with the usual Ipsos survey period of Thursday to Saturday.

• Seven News brings us a new poll from ReachTEL which is the third such poll in a row to have the result at 50-50, the most recent of which was conducted a few days after the budget on May 5. However, the primary votes look better for Labor this time, with the Coalition on 42.6%, down from 44.2%; Labor on 36.6%, up from 35.1%; the Greens on 9.9%, up from 9.5; and the Nick Xenophon Team on 2.7%, down from 4.2%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten has narrowed from 57.7-42.3 to 55.6-44.4; Turnbull’s very good plus good rating is up from 28.1% to 28.6%, and his poor plus very poor rating is up from 34.5% to 35.1%; the corresponding results for Bill Shorten record a solid improvement, with very good plus good up from 24.6% to 27.9%, and poor plus very poor down from 44.0% to 38.4%. The automated phone poll was recorded last night from a sample of 2407 – full results can be found here.

• There is also a separate ReachTEL poll for the Macarthur electorate, which the Russell Matheson holds for the Liberals on a post-redistribution margin of 3.3%, down from 11.4% at the 2013 election. Here ReachTEL credits Labor with a 51-49 lead on two-party preferred. After distributing results from a secondary question prompting the 10.7%, the primary votes are Liberal 41.4%, Labor 41.1%, Greens 7.3% and Nick Xenophon Team 2.5%. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 628.

UPDATE: Here’s what the BludgerTrack tables look like with the ReachTEL and Ipsos result added, including the Ipsos leadership ratings. This translates into a higher result for “others” at the expense of both major parties, with no change to the national two-party result (UPDATE: Turns out this was because I’d failed to distribute ReachTEL’s undecided results, so scratch that). The Coalition is down a seat in New South Wales and up one in Western Australia, although the remarkable swing result from the latter is only slightly modified.

bludgertrack-2016-05-21

UPDATE 2: Here’s another chart to brighten your weekend, this one tracking the state-level swings to or from the Coalition on Malcolm Turnbull’s watch. Broadly speaking, what emerges is a levelling off since March everywhere except Western Australia, where the momentum of the government’s early year slide has been maintained. The uptick to the Coalition in Queensland is a curiosity, and may simply reflect the dominance there at the moment of a single data point, namely the 1176-sample poll there from Galaxy last week (though it’s not nearly as dominant as last week’s 3019-sample state-level poll from ReachTEL is in Tasmania). You might also find evidence that the submarines contract was a steadier for the Liberals in South Australia if you’re looking at it, but the elephant in the room there is the 22.2% others vote, which crept up from 13.5% at the start of Turnbull’s tenure to 14.6% at the end of the year, and has since swelled to 22.2%. I’ll provide a more detailed display of state-level breakdowns soon, I promise.

2016-05-21-swing-by-state

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.

1,780 comments on “ReachTEL: 50-50; Ipsos: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. The mafia story in the Herald Sun is Murdoch trying to get on side with Labor he can read the trend as well as we can.

  2. Swings are never uniform.
    The Libs might hang on to a few very marginal seats, but lose a whole lot in the 5-10% range for instance.

  3. Where are the approval ratings? A graph on Twitter suggesting net approval is equal for the leaders?? Surely not

  4. President of the Pillocks’ society, you were the one who raised the News Limited 80 seat projection in the first place.
    Take a hike, troll.

  5. I am not convinced, Guytaur. There are weeks to go for News to think they can change the trend. Victoria, why bring it up now when it is a poor look for Lord Truffles.

  6. President of the Pillocks’ society, you were the one who raised the News Limited 80 seat projection in the first place.

    No I wasn’t, you loon. I linked to the Australian’s election page in order to show that it was reporting a 4.6% swing to Labor in the national 2PP figure since 2013 as of the 23rd of May, and that this obviously meant that there was a new Newspoll that had it 51-49 to Labor. At no point did I ever make any mention of the seat projection.

    Get your eyes checked.

  7. steve777 @ #1671 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Interesting article from a couple of days ago, may have already been linked. Basically, Malcolm has failed to make any mark on his party. He can’t win, even if his party scrapes back in:
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/turnbulls-flubbed-it-even-if-he-wins-20160520-gozq0n.html

    The article assumes he can’t win big. That is a premature assumption. Either party could still win by lots.

    At roughly the same stage Fraser in 1977 had only a narrow lead and Howard in 2004 was slightly behind.

  8. POTSS
    You’d almost think they were morons…

    A Uniform swing does nothing except give an idea of an approximate number of seats that can be expected from a given swing – but good to know you think I’m a moron. Your rudeness is noted.

  9. A Uniform swing does nothing except give an idea of an approximate number of seats that can be expected from a given swing – but good to know you think I’m a moron. Your rudeness is noted.

    What, are you going to go dob me in to the school principal? ‘Approximately’ 80 seats is not a reliable prediction at all when all the statistical analysis shows Labor needs 50.9% 2PP for a 50-50 shot at forming government.

  10. [Bill Shorten’s standing with voters has jumped to a 12-month high, underpinning Labor’s election-winning lead in Newspoll, as Malcolm Turnbull’s support has continued to tumble.
    The latest Newspoll, taken ­exclusively for The Australian, shows that after the first two weeks of the election campaign the government has been unable to claw back Labor’s two-party-preferred lead of 51 per cent to the ­Coalition’s 49 per cent.
    And the massive approval rating enjoyed by the Prime Minister in the early months after he replaced Tony Abbott last September has been wiped out.
    With six weeks to go until polling day, the Newspoll represents a two-party swing against the government of 4.5 per cent. If repeated on election day with a uniform swing, it would suggest about 23 Coalition seats would be lost and Mr Shorten would lead a Labor government with a narrow majority.
    Voters still think the Coalition will win the July 2 election, although that expectation is also slipping.
    The Coalition’s primary vote is steady at 41 per cent while Labor dropped one point to 36 per cent, the Greens are unchanged at 11 per cent and other parties and independents are up one point to 12 per cent.
    Mr Turnbull remains the preferred prime minister by 46 per cent to Mr Shorten on 31 per cent. But the lead over his Labor rival has been more than halved.]
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/federal-election-2016/election-2016-newspoll-shows-coalition-failing-to-peg-back-alp-lead/news-story/12b18750edf6bc2bf5162151aceaca27

  11. Nappin

    Running PM lunches with mafia story in election campaign is not the act of someone who supports you. With friends like these etc etc.

    I truly do think its an indication of Murdoch adjusting his narrative for a Labor win. He may want the polls to turn but he has been burnt by denying the trend in previous elections.

  12. I am not sure if this is a dead cat. If so I would like to donate it to the NLP.
    Very pleased with tonight’s poll.
    To sleep the sleep of the just after late night coffee.

  13. swamprat @ #1662 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Better PM: Turnbull ​46​ (-3), Shorten 31 (+4​​)

    Shirley, that’s the most significant poll result?

    Some evidence of the the idea that Shorten is under-estimated by the broader voting Public and the exposure of the campaign will, in that respect, work in his favour.

    Still think the advantages of incumbency and a largely complaint media means it will be hard work to improve on these numbers. But, given the Liberals were expecting an easy win a few months ago it will be interesting to see what they try next.

  14. POTSS – I hope whichever Greens’ candidate you’re campaigning for has the sense to keep you out of sight licking envelopes, because they’ll need a miracle if you actually talk to voters.

  15. Guytaur, only a fool would consider Murdoch a friend ….. hmmmm, arguable. Victoria indicates it relates to 4C tomorrow night. My cynical mind suggests it could be a shot over the bow to blunt the story. Not sure of the logic, but I struggle to see Murdoch changing yet (perhaps I listen to Fox News too much!!)

  16. Nappin

    Last time 4C had a story about the mafia link News did not report it until after the other media did. Then it did not give it much prominence.

    Thats why I suspect Murdoch is changing his narrative. Don’t expect pro Labor propaganda but there will be more negative stories for the LNP especially Turnbull if Murdoch wants the right wing back in control

    All speculation of course

  17. I still think people generally are not tuned in to the election yet. Other than leadership ratings the polls have been flat for a while.

  18. The closing of the better-PM gap from 49 points to 15 points in six months is an all-time record for the fastest closing of that gap by a single Opposition Leader. For what it’s worth, which at last count was 20 retweets 7 favourites.

  19. POTSS – I hope whichever Greens’ candidate you’re campaigning for has the sense to keep you out of sight licking envelopes, because they’ll need a miracle if you actually talk to voters.

    I don’t campaign for anyone let alone the Greens, but I can assure you I have a lot more patience for your average Aussie than I do for a bunch of innumerate partisan hacks like yourselves.

  20. evan parsons @ #1675 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    I’ll take this, considering that the Libs have thrown the kitchen sink at Labor over the past week, in terms of boats and dog whistling on asylum seekers and also the NBN AFP raids.
    I’m the eternal pessimist, I still expect Turnball to win, BUT the trend is going Shorten’s way, inch by inch.

    Like you I am a pessimist and am thinking an enfeebled conservative govt without control of the senate is the likely outcome. But it is worth noting they have yet to find a rallying call, no “interest rates will always be…” , “we will decide who….”, “stop the boats” or”axe the tax” meme is that is cutting through. They are still casting around for it though. I wish they continue to find nothing but three wheeled shopping trolleys.

  21. DWH

    Thats why this Newspoll is significant in what it does tell us. Its saying that for the voters that have engaged have turned against the LNP.

    You are correct most voters will not engage until the end of the marathon campaign.

  22. Helping Labor win doesn’t seem to be a logical course to get the right back under control but the right doesn’t seem to do logic much of the time.

  23. DWH

    The only logic is an assumption that the LNP won’t win so instead of waiting for the election never never win start the war now.

  24. work to rule @ #1717 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    swamprat @ #1662 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Better PM: Turnbull ​46​ (-3), Shorten 31 (+4​​)
    Shirley, that’s the most significant poll result?

    Some evidence of the the idea that Shorten is under-estimated by the broader voting Public and the exposure of the campaign will, in that respect, work in his favour.
    Still think the advantages of incumbency and a largely complaint media means it will be hard work to improve on these numbers. But, given the Liberals were expecting an easy win a few months ago it will be interesting to see what they try next.

    I was at a social event tonight and fell to talking politics with a life-long friend and Labor -watcher. This person does not, as a rule, have a good thing to say about Bill. but tonight she offered the view that he has been “been doing better than could have been expected.”

    This is a common opinion. It also means that where Bill is concerned, there is still lots and lots of blue sky.

  25. I still think people generally are not tuned in to the election yet. Other than leadership ratings the polls have been flat for a while.

    People seem to be looking at Shorten (now that he’s getting largley equal treatment in the media) an liking what they see and hear. Malcolm not so much.

    Personally i am not expecting people to engage much until 3 weeks out. then i reckon we could see a shift.

    This week will be fun though. Albo vs Pyne Monday. 4 Corners may not be good for Uncle Arfur?? Bowen vs ScoMo at the NPC later in the week. I’m wondering when they will release the toxic sreech Cash next??

    Anyone know when Malcolm has to front up for his next spanking by Bill in front of an audience??

  26. Meanwhile in the UK:

    Éoin @LabourEoin
    Massive story to break very soon about Tory Election Fraud. I’m sworn to silence until it does. This scandal is about to go nuclear

    Hmmm.

  27. This is an arm wrestle, to be sure. The indications are good, but that’s all they are. I expect some bloated, mangy dead dogs to be thrown at Labor by the Murdoch mafia in the 6 weeks ahead, Dennis Atkin’s attempted slur on Shorten for having witnessed the papers on the sale of the Seddon house from Kathy and Jeff Jackson to David Feeney being but the beginning I predict.

    I still remember when Latham looked like winning in 2004 and the Murdoch mafia dredged up that woman who was his first wife for a ‘Tell All’ story that was full of vile bile, and his popularity started tanking from that point on. Not to mention ‘The Handshake’.

    No, the Robber Barons are in the middle of raiding the Treasury and I don’t think they want to be disturbed by a Labor victory. They want their $50 Billion in ‘Tax Cuts’ and will fight tooth and nail with everything they’ve got to get it.

    Strap yourself in folks, it’s going to be a wild ride to the finish line as this carnival enters the House of Horrors. Labor Horrors of course. For the Coalition it will be the Tunnel of Love, the Sunny Uplands of Jobs and Growth. Your jobs if your lucky enough to have one, and the growth in their profits.

    Suffice to say, I ain’t predicting no victory for Labor yet. I’m rolling up my sleeves to engage in the arm wrestle.

  28. kevin bonham @ #1722 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    The closing of the better-PM gap from 49 points to 15 points in six months is an all-time record for the fastest closing of that gap by a single Opposition Leader. For what it’s worth, which at last count was 20 retweets 7 favourites.

    And it still massively over-rates the Turn 🙂

  29. Are you Peter Dutton?

    I am practically the anti-Dutton. Despite this, we have occasionally used one or two of the same words.

  30. Turnball mightn’t want another debate. Heck, even the one set up by Sky News to advantage him didn’t go so well.
    I wonder if Turnball will even appear on Q&A? I’m sure Shorten will, at some stage before July 2.

  31. Guytaur I think the polls will swing before July 2nd and I think it’s more likely they will swing to Labor. However I’m not confident either way at present.

  32. Catmomma

    I don’t think anyone is counting chickens. Just the trend so far. Labor have set up base camp there is still the normal length of a campaign to go though before Labor can scale Everest.

    Thats how I actually see things. The LNP are still in the valley below.

  33. I won’t be surprised if the News Ltd rags dredge up those old rape allegations against Shorten, or try and drag Chloe Shorten through the mud……..Rupert wants to get his boy home, albeit he’d much prefer it was Tony Abbott running again for the top job

  34. kevin bonham @ #1722 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    The closing of the better-PM gap from 49 points to 15 points in six months is an all-time record for the fastest closing of that gap by a single Opposition Leader. For what it’s worth, which at last count was 20 retweets 7 favourites.

    Cheers Kevin was wondering about that. Any views on the extent to which the rise of social media has allowed Turnball to claim this prize?

  35. These Newspoll leadership numbers are really quite something. A big shift on PPM to Bill and he’s drawn level on net satisfaction too. With six weeks to go, I really find it hard to imagine that this can continue without corresponding shifts of some magnitude on the 2PP figures as well.

  36. I wonder if Turnball will even appear on Q&A?

    I think he will make a point of doing that. Would actually suit him as a format i think, with his baffle the punters with bullshit routine in play and Tony Jones to help him out if it gets rough.

    Where as the one on one in front of an audience vs Shorten will be the session he wants to avoid. If things go pear shaped there Shorten starts to mock him and he appears to really hate that.

  37. EP

    Which is why its interesting that Murdoch is not ignoring 4C this time. Murdoch knows even if the LNP do not that Turnbull is all they have until the election is over.

    So when the SMH is running the story in its usual joint Fairfax 4C investigation the fact Murdoch has it on his front page as well is interesting indeed.

  38. evan parsons @ #1745 Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I won’t be surprised if the News Ltd rags dredge up those old rape allegations against Shorten, or try and drag Chloe Shorten through the mud……..Rupert wants to get his boy home, albeit he’d much prefer it was Tony Abbott running again for the top job

    If Murdoch can see that the LNP are going to lose, he will have every reason to support Labor in the homestretch. He knows that Labor could easily break up his fiefdom. He will want to buy some insurance against that…at least, if he is smart, he will. He may run the Oz into the ground supporting the Libs. But maybe his other rags will swing….

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