ReachTEL: 50-50

Movement in the Coalition’s favour on the primary vote from ReachTEL, but their enthusiasm will be tempered by an alarming result from the South Australian seat of Grey, where Rowan Ramsey is under the pump from the Nick Xenophon Team.

ReachTEL has produced another lineball result on two-party preferred for the Seven Network, which stays at 50-50 after moving from 52-48 in Labor’s favour the week before. However, the poll offers some encouragement for the Coalition in having them up and Labor down on the primary vote for the second week in a row, and the two-party result would have rounded to 52-48 in their favour if 2013 election preference flows were applied, as ReachTEL did until quite recently. Labor was able to retain parity in the headline result through a still greater flow of respondent-allocated minor party and independent preferences, which already looked stronger than plausible.

Labor did particularly poorly this week (and to a lesser extent last week) on the forced response follow-up question for the undecided, on which they failed to crack 20%. With the result of the follow-up question integrated into the total, the primary votes are 42.7% for the Coalition (up 1.2%), 33.2% for Labor (down 1.7%), 9.9% for the Greens (down 0.2%) and 4.5% for the Nick Xenophon Team (down 0.5%). On personal ratings, Malcolm Turnbull’s combined very good and good rating is up from 26.3% to 28.3%, and poor plus very poor is down from 40.8% to 37.4%. Shorten is down on both measures, from 29.0% to 27.5% on the former and 39.6% to 38.6% on the latter, and Turnbull’s lead on preferred prime minister is effectively unchanged, down from 55.6-44.4 to 55.4-44.6. The automated phone poll was conducted last night from a sample of 2175, which is on the low side by ReachTEL’s standards.

Of perhaps even greater interest than the national result is the regular weekly supplementary marginal seat poll, which credits the Andrea Broadfoot of the Nick Xenophon Team with a 54-46 two-party lead over Liberal member Rowan Ramsay in the electorate of Grey, which covers South Australia’s “iron triangle” of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie, together with the state’s remote areas. Inclusive of the forced preference results, the primary votes are Liberal 39.4%, Nick Xenophon Team 32.7%, Labor 14.5% and Greens 5.5%, with around three-quarters of preferences flowing to Broadfoot. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 665.

UPDATE: BludgerTrack updated with the ReachTEL result below. As BludgerTrack is going off 2013 election preferences, it’s treating this poll as being close to 52-48 in the Coalition’s favour, and there has accordingly been a significant shift in that direction on two-party preferred. However, it’s only yielded one extra seat on the seat projection because of some fairly substantial changes in the state-level results. This is because I’ve only just now added the state results for the last two ReachTEL polls, because their new practice of reporting undecided results presented an accounting difficulty that I’ve only now attended to. The inclusion of these numbers has makes little difference in New South Wales, pares the Coalition back in Queensland, and inflates them in the other four states. In seat terms, this knocks three off their tally in Queensland, and adds two in Western Australia (corrected what looked like an excessive result there earlier) and one each in Victoria and Tasmania.


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.

830 comments on “ReachTEL: 50-50”

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  1. Yeah, it looks like Labor is getting massive preference flows from minor parties for 2PP to remain in 50-50.

    Then again we have seat polls that show huge swings against LNP. Really don’t know what to make of it all.

  2. The preference flows from minor parties are very reminiscent of what happened in the Queensland election – perhaps this is the new normal and psephology will need to take more account of it.

    The previous stability which led to last election preferences being the best predictor over the last few decades has perhaps been upset by the large increase in the “other”vote.

  3. Re fire fighter numbers at a fire.
    If a building fire, then you need a team of two with BA, to enter the building. But then they need a backup team of two, before they can go in, plus an observer to make sure they don’t get into trouble or go overtime. Then you need an incident controller on the radio.
    Once we add a pump operator and someone onthe hose you have 8.
    Then you need someone to control traffic and a driver for the appliance and it goes on.

  4. Good evening all,

    It should be remembered that in last weeks reachtel the labor primary decreased but in Ipsos and Essential it increased while in Newspoll both coalition and labor went down a point.

    I have no idea what is going on but labor is not polling under 32 on primary votes nationally.

    Anyway, just my take as a complete amateur.


  5. The “others” increase looks like it’s increasingly an anti-incumbent vote, to be honest – and the two majors are being put on notice that they need to massively lift their game if they want to retain their dominance.
    Given that the major difference of late appears to be how much they’ll give stick to the poor and working classes and carrots to the rich (rather than whether it’s appropriate to do so at all), I can understand the general “pox on both their houses” attitude I’m getting some of in my phonebanking and volunteering.

  6. ajm @ #3 Friday, June 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    The preference flows from minor parties are very reminiscent of what happened in the Queensland election – perhaps this is the new normal and psephology will need to take more account of it.
    The previous stability which led to last election preferences being the best predictor over the last few decades has perhaps been upset by the large increase in the “other”vote.

    The shift in Queensland was not repeated to anything like the same extent in NSW (though last-election preferences were inaccurate there). Also there was barely any sign of it coming in Victoria, and it wasn’t repeated in the Canning by-election. I think it was an oddity made possible by a massive primary vote swing and the strange attributes of optional preferencing.

    The other point is that respondent preference samples are volatile. One sample will find them swinging to Labor by this much then the next might not show anything.

    The lack of prior measurement of NXT prefs is an issue though. Especially since a lot of those people won’t actually vote for NXT since it won’t be fielding in their seat.

  7. Sorry, in the previous thread I misread the tables and thought the Liberal vote was the entire Coalition PV, thus my comment about the Coalition PV not being that good either. Looking at the actual number, it isn’t that bad for them, TBH.

  8. Bluey Bulletin 75 Day 81 of 103
    Wall-to-wall economics, the Coalition’s fave, and Labor’s doom. Bluey reckons that Labor is a goner if it cannot reframe the agenda toute-de-suite.

    Bluey notes that the Right have started rumbling about minority government againn and that the Coalition and ‘The Australian’ are launching frantic attempts to vilify Mr X. Mr X simply says thank you, and keep them coming.
    It occurred to Bluey to wonder whether transfers, er donations, from Parakeelya to the Party coffers might be classified as a donation. It also occurred to Bluey to wonder whether the size of donations was above the threshold. It then occurred to Bluey to wonder whether the donations had been registered. Then it occurred to Bluey why Labor has run dead on this one…
    Kelly praised Wong for being on the right side of the policy fence in relation to re-negotiating trade agreements and more liberal trade arrangements than the Coalition has.
    Bluey had thought he was not selected. Wrong. Bluey reckons that if he is elected he is a walking, talking political IED. The reason is that some time over the next six years the wall of omerta will be breached and Molan’s operational responsibility for deaths at sea, people burning their hands, ungovernable lifeboats beached on reefs and the general brutalization of humans on Christmas, Manus and Nauru will bring him down.
    Oakeshott to have another shot at the Lower House. Bluey reckons that this probably does not help Labor but might add an x bencher to the tally.
    Bluey reckons the CFA and Andrews are dancing to Turnbull’s tune.
    Bluey gets Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies, but has lost track of the Senate Zombies. Bluey reckons that Labor might have succeeded in out-baffling the Liberal’s bullshit but, really, he has no idea.
    The good thing is that Turnbull can give hints to Pyne on what to do about the cat. But the Reachtel entrails are bad news for Labor. Turnbull and Shorten personals have congealed.

    Verdict for the day: Evens
    Cumulative Tall: Labor 48 Liberal/Greens/Miners/Banks/Assorted Spivs Anti-Labor Alliance 32

  9. Poll Bludger aggregate has the Coalition on 41% and Labor way behind on 34%. This despite God giving to Labor with both hands during the past few years. There has been altogether too much surplus fetishism from Labor, which reinforces voters’ ignorance of the federal government’s role in the national economy, and which plays to Coalition-friendly myths.

  10. It looks like it could be a real nail biter but I will keep my positive attitude, rather than worry about something that might not happen.
    If the emperor of SA wins heaps of seats, preferably from the Libs lets hope he has clothes.

  11. As the election does not want to budge from 50-50 and there is a high “other” vote (not to mention stuff like the Grey poll, I would expect Turnbull to try and shape the election to be a choice between certainty with the Coalition and a “chaotic” hung parliament/Shorten minority Government. I also expect the negative against Shorten to be ramped up.

    And it could very well work. Labor need to make sure it steps up in the last few weeks.

  12. Labor may have played it very smart here by getting how they are going to pay for their promises out three weeks before the election they can now concentrate on what they will do and protect.
    Anytime someone asks them where the money coming from refer them to the statement and say Labor has said how it will pay, unlike Jobson Growth.

  13. Yes, looks very uphill for Labor here on. Clearly 50-50 headline figure hides the size of challenge for Labor.

  14. Gasp! They are sacking the CFA Board, half of which were put in there by Labor, whilst a supreme court injunction in place that prevents the signing of it.
    What a disgrace!

  15. Labor or one of it’s support groups could come out with an add along the lines of you may vote for Turnbull but how long will he last..

  16. Reachtel …. LNP only ahead 55:45 on best economic manager …. But ALP streets ahead on health and education. the LNPs signature company tax cut has very little support. Beaut set of numbers.

  17. Rummel,

    If you are still around a question if I may.

    You seem positive re the chances of labor. On what do you base that ? Discussions with friends, work mates, family or just a feel ?

    Serious question.


  18. @Rummel, CFA boards position is untenable. You can’t actively campaign against the government while the same government is your boss.

  19. Any views on whether Xenophon might want a cabinet position as the price for the support of his party in hung parliament?

  20. shellbell – I can’t see X asking for this.

    I don’t have a huge amount of respect for him, but he’s obviously a very canny political operator. He knows that actively participating in a minority government is basically the political death knell for the minority party. I think he’d be much more comfortable standing off to the side, doing the minimum amount to provide confidence if required (and he’d probably prefer not to have to be held to account even for that).

    I would imagine that he’s more looking to establish his party as a longer term force, and that is not best served by being in the hot seat at such a time.

  21. I agree with the poster the other night that there was no ‘feel’ that a change of Government was on the way, as was the case in 2013, 2007, 1996 and 1993. This is looking like 1998. In fact, with the coming tsunami of negativity, disinformation and smear, maybe 1980.

    That’s not to say give up. It might be Qld 2015. Upsets do happen. But I. Am just stating what I believe to be the balance of probability.

  22. Labor has done well in Senate positions but not so well in the HOR marginals. Of the c 34 best chances for Labor to win seats based on current PB State trends I get 20 seats with LNP getting donkey vote and Labor 14. The only good news is that Labor was down 21/12 last time (Burt new). Where the same party has donkey each time no impact for 2016. Where the donkey has flipped then potential benefit of 1-1.5%.

    Donkey fliping to LNP in 8 Capricornia, Lindsay, Reid, Gilmour, Dunkley, Cowan, Solomon and Pearce. Flipping to Labor in 9 Bonner, Herbert, Dickson, Longman, Bass, Macquarie, La Trobe, Hindmarsh and Swan plus Labor get donkey in Burt.

  23. Grey. ALP primary – 14%….. 27% 2013. 39% 2010
    Sturt. ALP primary – 20%…… 29% 2013. 36% 2010.
    Its not just the Liberal party in SA that should be concerned. And I dont even want to look at the 2007 figures.

  24. Crikey!, to coin a phrase. If NXT are likely to win Grey then unless there’s some very special factor at work there they’re likely to win all seats in SA! It’s the one where KB was expecting the lowest NXT vote.

  25. Shellbell
    I will stick my neck out and say – Buckleys. And none.
    Far easier to keep the bastards honest than to be the bastard.

  26. One good thing is the bad stuff is out of the way for ALP. The next 2 weeks can be full blown positivity from the ALP.

    Still to hear about hospital policy element of medicare, nbn and the like … coalition have NO new policies to sell.

    If ALP can hammer the positives, and the Coalition’s tax giveaway … who knows? The more seats the Libs lose to indies, the more chance ALP will end up with more seats even if they can’t hit 75.


  27. If X wants to establish his party as a long term force, he needs to put it on a firmer foundation than his personal popularity. These personal projects always seem to implode (PUP, One Nation) or languish (Katter).

  28. Steve777 – X has said that he intends the party to change its name away from NXT after the election. Not sure what he/they might have in mind, and they will struggle to capture the essence of the party, but the intention seems to be there to move beyond being the Nick Xenophon personal fan club.

  29. Interesting that Oakeshotte has already declared for Turnbull. With Xenephon also a former YoungLiberal president, aghast at where the RWNJ have taken the party of Menzies, a Turnbull/Indie coalition might just send the MonkeyPod knuckledraggers back to their reservation.

    But will they be happy eating bananas and picking fleas off each other?

  30. JENAUTHOR – Even now we have Labor taking the running every day and Morrison basically heckling from the cheap seats. Weird election. Three weeks to go. Labor has, hopefully, killed off the black-hole rubbish. Now for the home stretch.

  31. Steve,
    X is an experienced politician. So different from One nayshun and PUP. And his candidates seem to be more capable.

    But I agree.

  32. SPROCKET – No way in hell Monkey-pod will let Malcolm cheat on them with Xenophon Oakeshott et al. It would be absolute civil war.

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