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

More evidence of a fine balance of support on the national two-party preferred, but with Labor falling short where it matters most.

The latest weekly campaign poll for the Seven Network from ReachTEL has the Coalition hitting a lead of 51-49, following headline results of 50-50 in the last two polls and a 52-48 in favour of Labor three weeks ago. This week’s forced preference primary vote totals are Coalition 43.5% (up 0.8%), Labor 33.6% (up 0.4%), Greens 9.1% (down 0.8%) and Nick Xenophon Team 9.1% (down 0.8%). Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is out from 55.4-44.6 to 57.6-42.4, but both leaders’ personal ratings are little changed: Turnbull goes from 28.3% to 27.4% on very good plus good and from 37.4% to 36.3% on poor plus very poor, while Shorten goes from 27.5% to 29.6% favourable and from 38.6% to 39.7% unfavourable. The automated phone poll was conducted last night from a sample of 2576.

A rather different set of results emerges this evening from the latest fortnightly campaign poll by Ipsos for the Fairfax papers. It records a dramatic increase in the minor party vote, with both the Coalition and Labor down three points, to 39% and 33% respectively. Most of the yield goes to “others”, up four points to 14%, with the Greens up one to 14%. This cancels out on two-party preferred, which is unchanged at 51-49 in Labor’s favour on both the respondent-allocated and previous-election two-party preferred measures. The major parties’ loss of support isn’t reflected in the personal ratings, with both leaders up two on approval (47% for Malcolm Turnbull, 43% for Bill Shorten) and steady on disapproval (42% for Turnbull, 47% for Shorten). Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows from 49-31 to 48-34. The live interview phone poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1437.

ReachTEL’s weekly marginal seat poll is a disappointing result for Labor, showing Liberal member Ken Wyatt retaining a 53-47 lead in his eastern Perth seat of Hasluck, suggesting a modest swing to Labor of 3%. Forced preference primary vote results are 46.1% for Ken Wyatt (46.2% at the 2013 election, post-redistribution) and 32.6% for Labor candidate Bill Leadbetter (29.2% for Labor in 2013). The Greens are on 13.5%, up from 10.7% in 2013, much of which comes from the forced response follow-up question asked of the undecided. The Greens got 10.9% on the first round question, but 21.1% of those who responded as undecided favoured the Greens on the follow up. The two-party headline is from respondent-allocated preferences, but 2013 election preferences would have produced the same result. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 753.


• A ReachTEL poll commissioned by GetUp! suggests Rob Oakeshott is looking competitive in his bid to unseat Nationals member Luke Hartsuyker in the seat of Cowper in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales. Inclusive of forced preferences, the primary votes are Hartsuyker 42.6%, Oakeshott 25.6%, Labor 14.0%, Greens 8.4%, Christian Democrats 4.5%, others 4.9%. Hartsuyker would likely get over the line after preferences on those numbers, but only by a few per cent. The poll was conducted on Monday from a sample of 842.

• Roy Morgan has released details results of its polling conducted from April to June in South Australia – a little too detailed in fact, since results are provided at electorate level from samples of only 180 each. Taken in aggregate, the Nick Xenophon Team is at 21.5% statewide, which would score them three seats based on Kevin Bonham’s modelling. There is no clear indication of major geographical variation in the NXT vote, as was the case with Xenophon’s Senate vote in 2013.

Another Morgan report repeats the electorate-level voting intention exercise for the seven seats recording the highest levels of Greens support, which suggests their primary vote to be slightly higher than Labor’s across Melbourne, Batman and Wills, but a) it’s hard to read much into this given the sample size, and b) Morgan has long been reporting excessive-looking results for the Greens. The report also tells us that Labor led 51-49 in Morgan’s regular polling over the fortnight, unchanged on the previous result, which didn’t get the usual published result this week for some reason.

UPDATE: Here is an update of BludgerTrack with the two latest polls, whose peculiarities have essentially cancelled each other out. The Coalition is up a seat in Queensland, but down two in New South Wales.



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.

1,029 comments on “ReachTEL: 51-49 to Coalition; Ipsos: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. fess

    You didn’t really miss anything. Bill gave the same answers he always does. Malcolm was quite fluffed up with repetition of his Plan, his Excitement, and between questions sat looking like a hen whose eggs won’t hatch. Hildebrand practically lost control and several times they were, all three, talking over each other.

  2. lizzie:

    This says it all about the moderator. In hindsight I’m glad I missed it.

    Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits 1h1 hour ago
    Come back Uncle Ray, all is forgiven.</blockquote?

  3. National polls not matter how accurate are going to miss the variations that occur between states, regions and individual seats.
    Seat polls give a more accurate look at the one seat but due to variations between states, regions and individual seats are very difficult to get a general idea of what is happening.
    Ideally we would have many more seat polls to go along with the nation polls so that together we can get more of an idea as to what is happening and how evenly the national swing is occurring across the country. A statewide poll in Sa in particular in the election might be very beneficial in trying to work out what is happening with NXT.
    So give us some more polls you lazy polling companies.

  4. Would Peter even have Newspoll yet? Are they going to publish it tomorrow instead of on Monday?

  5. 31.0 for Labor is abysmal… not looking good.

    Yet Labor insists that they will only govern by themselves, and do so legitimately and with due regard for the two thirds of the voters who don’t support them. I think they need a democracy infusion.

  6. Nicholas if they can transform a primary vote that low into enough seats to govern in their own right then that figure is irrelevant, it is the number of seats that really matter.

  7. I wrote this the night before the Queensland Election and after 3 polls ALL predicted LNP 52% ALP 48% 2PP. The bookies had LNP 1.08 and ALP $7.00

    “Ausdavo Friday, January 30, 2015 at 7:37 pm
    If 52/48 holds tomorrow for the LNP after prefs it could drop to 51/49.

    SE Qld could see LNP on 50/50 ALP picks up 27 seats in SE Qld.
    Rest of State could see LNP on 54/46 ALP picks up 7 more seats.

    A Green calculator with over-rides for Gaven, Maryborough and Gladstone would see LNP 40, ALP 45, KAP 2 and Ind 2.
    That’s how close these figures can make it.
    Try it yourself if you don’t believe me”.

    This Federal election still has 2 weeks to go. The only “idiots” are those saying the LNP are a “shoe in”. It is still there for the ALP to win. Watch out for INFORMALS coming in at 10% or more in many HOR seats. This will rob the LNP of vital preferences from “Others” thereby magnifying the value of Greens Preferences to the ALP.

    With Essential LNP 39% and ALP 33% Others 28%! If 10% of the “others” exhaust it leaves 18% to be distributed. Due to large Greens prefs plus a split of X and “others” the ALP may get 13% the LNP 5%. Final formal votes ALP 46, LNP 44 which translates to a 2PP of 51% to ALP 49% to LNP. The swingometer will be all over the place !

  8. Joe was alright, actually.Rose to the occasion. Gave Turnbull curry over long answers.

    But will Tony Jones do the same?

  9. Nicholas if they can transform a primary vote that low into enough seats to govern in their own right then that figure is irrelevant, it is the number of seats that really matter.

    No, certainly not. It’s not about seats, it’s about the will of the voters.

  10. > Peter van Onselen @vanOnselenP
    “Newspoll wow!”

    The guy is a troll

    His “wow” is probably 50/50 but will create Twitter excitement for a few hours

  11. Evening all,

    Just thought I would let you know about some wild weather we are having currently in Alice.

    After an uncharacteristicly warm June day a massive hailstorm came belting through at about 1645. By the end of the first wave the hail was nearing a foot high in some places and streets became mini rivers. Subsequent storm fronts have passed through with one still pounding as we speak.

    By accounts the town is a wreck from all this punishment. Sirens are constantly wailing and pictures on the town FB group are not pretty.

    If this keeps up (I haven’t looked at BOM) then expect the Todd to break its banks. My own place could be in some strife lol.

    Have found!

  12. You know, for the first time in many many years, I truly have no idea what is going to happen in this election. There are two main issues : the non-majors break-up, and the new preferencing system.
    Applying past election preferences here, when so many have shifted between minors, means it is almost impossible to guess. By past experience, you can’t rely upon declared preferences, but with the death of PUP, the rise of NXT and even more independents that are sniping directly from the center, I simply have no idea. Add on top of that the possibility that these people will vote in strange preferencing patterns that might or might not extuinguish, how can you possibly make a call.
    I reckon it’ll be close, but I really have no idea at all.
    Growing up in Canada, where no single party controlled the country, I can only assert that perhaps that system is finally arriving here…

  13. @Nicholas

    Nicholas, you do realise Greens are performing poorly in the current polling right? At a time like this where minor parties are expected to surge, Greens are stuck where they are. By acting like major parties and getting involved with deals Greens have missed a great opportunity to tap into the discontent.

  14. Nicholas if they can transform a primary vote that low into enough seats to govern in their own right then that figure is irrelevant,

    Even if our dodgy, creaking, rinky-dink winner-take-all House electoral system converted a third of the primary vote into a majority of seats, it wouldn’t be a sustainable and legitimate outcome. Power-sharing would be the only legitimate way to go in that scenario.

  15. confessions @ #75 Friday, June 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    So we *are* getting a Newspoll (of sorts) tonight. Fascinating.


    Fess – Presumably one each on the next two Friday nights as well – to take us up to the election.

  16. … It’s not about seats, it’s about the will of the voters.

    That’s well and good, but in our single member electorate system, it’s about seats.

  17. FWIW Katherine Murphy’s take on the debate (via Facebook):

    Katharine Murphy
    15 mins · · Politics
    My verdict on the debate, Mr Consensus is awake, and wants a fight.
    The first quick observation is that was a good debate. The second is in every forum, the questions from voters indicate Labor is much more on the zeitgeist than the Coalition when it comes to the policy concerns of voters. That has been entirely consistent throughout the campaign. Labor’s agenda is the one that is resonant at this moment in Australia’s history.
    But the field evidence also shows us that the polls have hardly moved over the past several weeks. People are not giving Labor an affirmative bounce for being in touch.
    Which brings me to the main take out of tonight. We saw it this morning. We saw it again tonight. Bill Shorten has taken a decision to try and punch it up as we head into the final fortnight. He’s leaning in to the prime minister, and starting to demand a contest, a fight, a clash of values.
    The government’s objective is to keep this campaign as flat as possible, as tamped down, as reassuring, as dull as possible. The Coalition wants torpor not confrontation, because torpor guarantees a Coalition victory. Labor is evidently positioning to fight in the home stretch, which is interesting, because it’s against the grain for Shorten, who like consensus and commonality, not confrontation – it’s not his cadence.
    But in my view, fight is the only chance Labor has of getting the contest by the throat. Judging by the Labor leader’s performance tonight, that’s what he thinks too. It was a feisty performance from Shorten, a few left hooks, a couple of risks, some high visibility contrast with his opponent, some assertive negativity.
    But the prime minister didn’t stumble, didn’t take any wrong turns, he just followed the battle plan: keep it tight and tidy, stick with the messages, be reassuring, and all will be well on polling day.
    Let’s see how that all goes.

  18. If 52/48 holds tomorrow for the LNP after prefs it could drop to 51/49.

    I said much the same myself. Three polls came in that evening at 52-48, and apropos of preferences, I wrote it was “certainly plausible that this brace of 52-48 results is really more like 51-49”. And we were both underestimating how much difference it would make by 2%. If we’d been right, the LNP would have won. Earlier that day, I wrote that readers should “pay no mind to anyone who asserts with confidence what’s going to happen in tomorrow’s Queensland election”.

  19. I really get the impression that labor would love to keep being the underdog in this election. Don’t frighten people into thinking they will win or there might be a “hung” parliament. Pick up protest votes. Malcolm seemed to be worried about the protest vote today with his “every vote counts” mantra.

  20. K17 @ 7:43pm,

    You’re spot on with your assessment. The LNP know they will be in big trouble if people believe they’re a “shoe in” and can hence register a protest vote. I think we will see a lot of voters who don’t fill in the whole ballot paper in the HOR and render their vote informal. I believe this is where the LNP will lose the election. No polling has measured that possibility as far as I know.

  21. Well, I missed the first ten minutes, but from what I saw Shorten thrashed Turnbull, apart, perhaps from the very last Q, where Turnbull got away with what looked like a very well rehearsed answer, while Shorten was playing it by ear.

    Turnbull’s “hands on hips” stance for most of it looked like an arrogant man saying “why aren’t you seeing I’m God?” Shorten looked far more relaxed, real, and in control.

    The studio audience gave it by a three to one ratio to Shorten. I reckon that was kind to Turnbull.

  22. Does anyone know how many seats will have Lib vs Nat contest this election? Considering %0.13 preference leakage is accepted when these 2 parties compete, what is the ramification for the overall 2PP result?

  23. Turnbull’s “hands on hips” stance for most of it looked like an arrogant man saying “why aren’t you seeing I’m God?” Shorten looked far more relaxed, real, and in control.

    Shorten looked humbler, without looking puny.

    He looked like he was surprised at the attention he was getting, and was pleased to have his chance to speak out.

    All in all, he looked the better man.

  24. in our single member electorate system, it’s about seats.

    The way our House system is designed means that a party the public despairs of and does not feel represented by can still win government by default. Voters are forced by the system to send their votes towards a two-party contest. In practice, if a winning party has only a third of the primary vote yet still wins the whole thing this will deliver a poor quality of government that does not address the concerns of the people and is widely seen as ineffective.

  25. Just a one off post and a bit of a gripe, but my electorate is Lindsay. It is basically 2 halves, with the St Marys or eastern end, voting ALP, and Penrith & Emu Plains the western end voting Lib.
    A message to all the scribes from the ALP and the left of politics on here who decry the “bogans” from the Western Sydney ,just remember that those very same “bogans” have elected ALP members in the past and may will do so again in the future.
    The booth I vote at in South St Marys in 2013,actually voted to return David Bradbury,the ALP candidate.He won the booth on First Preferences and 2PP.
    I voted for Julia Gillard in 2010,and for Rudd in 2013.We are not all muslim hating,homo hating,refugee hating ,beer drinking yobbos.
    There would not be one electorate in the country that didn’t have it’s fair share of idiots,and that’s not including some of the candidates.

  26. I think Labor has called it. They dont want to win this election.

    Pass the popcorn, the next term is going to be an epic Liberal shit storm.

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