Newspoll and Essential Research: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition; ReachTEL: 51-49

Three late polls find the Coalition with a narrow two-party lead, and Labor hanging on in its seat of Chisholm in Melbourne.

First up, the final reading of BludgerTrack, which after the addition of final results from Newspoll, Galaxy, ReachTEL, Ipsos and Essential Research is almost exactly where it was on Wednesday, so far as national voting intention is concerned. However, the Coalition is down a seat in New South Wales and Tasmania, and up one in Queensland and Western Australia. As always, I must stress that this is a two-party model that doesn’t take into account the Nick Xenophon Team factor and strong independent challenges in New England and Cowper, which could potentially cut the projected Coalition majority to the bone. I’m afraid I haven’t found time to update the personal ratings.


With the non-major party vote up 3.6% off an already high base in 2013, a lot depends on the accuracy of the assumption that preferences will flow as they did in 2013. Labor did particularly well on Greens preferences at the last election, and seem unlikely to improve upon that performance this time, but the preferences of “others”, who are treated as a homogenous blob, are something of a wild card, given the effective disappearance of Palmer United – although Palmer United preferences behaved almost identically to the remainder of the “others” preferences (i.e. everyone but Palmer United and the Greens) in 2013. The alternative approach is to go off respondent-allocated preferences, as published by Ipsos, ReachTEL and Morgan (which regrettably stopped publishing national polling results during the campaign), although the previous election method has generally worked better except when there were very substantial changes in the make-up of the non-major party vote. The following chart shows how the Coalition’s share of respondent-allocated preferences has trended since the last election, with the yellow line indicating where it was in 2013:


In other words, Tony Abbott had a remarkably consistent downward trajectory, whereas under Malcolm Turnbull it has broadly reflected the government’s overall standing in the polls. It nonetheless ends the campaign 3.7% below the 2013 election figure, which under the circumstances would make a fairly substantial difference, bringing the Coalition’s two-party preferred down to 50.3% and making as much as four seats’ difference on the seat projection.

The next chart tracks the Coalition vote state-by-state since the dawn of the Turnbull era. The most interesting point to emerge is that the Coalition has recovered strongly in Western Australia after appearing in a dire position there at the start of the campaign, possibly because the campaign has focused minds on the federal sphere and away from their discontent with the Barnett government. There has also been an upward trajectory in South Australia, but the static there from the Nick Xenophon Team is such that this should be treated with great caution. Tasmania also seems to have gone its own way over recent weeks, in this case in favour of Labor, although the small sample sizes here are such that this should be treated with caution as well. Elsewhere, the situation seems to have been fairly stable through the course of the campaign.


Now to polls. For starters, I’ve assembled all of the seat polling from the campaign that I’m aware of on a spreadsheet which (I think) you can access here.

The final Newspoll of the campaign was conducted Tuesday to Friday from a bumper sample of 4135, and records the Coalition with a 50.5-49.5 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of Coalition 42% (down one on last week), Labor 35% (also down one) and Greens 10% (up one). Malcolm Turnbull is up three on approval to 40% and down four on disapproval to 47%, while Bill Shorten is up one on both measures to 36% and 51%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is 48-31, up from 45-30.

ReachTEL’s final national poll for the campaign is unchanged on last week at 51-49 in favour of the Coalition on respondent-allocated preferences, although previous election preferences would produce the same result. The forced preference primary votes are Coalition 42.8% (up 0.4%), Labor 34.6% (up 0.8%), Greens 10.7% (up 0.2%). Despite this, and contrary to Newspoll, Shorten’s personal ratings have strengthened and Turnbull’s have weakened. Shorten records his best result yet against Malcolm Turnbull as preferred prime minister, with the latter now leading 52.9-47.1 compared with 57.9-42.1 last week. Turnbull’s combined good and very good rating is down 2.3% to 31.2%, and his combined poor and very poor is up 3.6% to 36.9%, whereas Shorten is respectively up 4.1% to 34.8% and up 0.8% to 38.6%. The survey of 2084 respondents was conducted last night for the Seven Network.

Essential Research has published a special pre-election poll conducted Monday to Thursday, compared with its usual field work period of Thursday to Sunday, which has the Coalition on 42.5%, Labor on 34.5% and Greens on 11.5%. The numbers have been published to the nearest 0.5% because, Essential advises, “nearly all the figures came out very close to the .5”. These are quite substantial shifts when compared with the fortnightly rolling average published on Tuesday, which were Coalition 39%, Labor 37% and Greens 10%, but less so going off the hitherto unpublished result from just last week’s sample, which was Coalition 40%, Labor 36% and Greens 10%. The result is also broken down into results for those who have and have not yet voted, with the former (Coalition 45%, Labor 33%, Greens 10%) more favourable to the Coalition than the latter (Coalition 41%, Labor 35%, Greens 12%). The two-party preferred results are 50.5-49.5 to the Coalition overall, 54-46 among those who have already voted, and 51-49 to Labor among those planning on voting tomorrow. Thirty-eight per cent say Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals ran the better campaign compared with 29% for Bill Shorten and Labor, and 48% expect the Coalition to win compared with 21% for Labor. The poll also finds 14% saying Brexit will be good for the Australian economy, 26% bad and 34% makes no difference, and 15% saying it will make them more likely to vote Liberal, 11% more likely to vote Labor, and 64% makes no difference.

The weekly ReachTEL marginal seat poll is from the Labor-held Melbourne seat of Chisholm, where Labor has been weakened by the retirement of sitting member Anna Burke, and perhaps further by the Country Fire Authority issue. The poll finds Labor hanging on by a margin of 51-49, from primary votes of Liberal 41.5% (down 2.6% on the 2013 election), Labor 37.7% (up 1.8%) and Greens 15.1% (up 5.6%). The closeness of the two-party headline is down to a much stronger flow of preferences to the Liberals compared with 2013. If previous election preference flows are applied, the Labor lead is 54-46. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 627.

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.

1,027 comments on “Newspoll and Essential Research: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition; ReachTEL: 51-49”

Comments Page 2 of 21
1 2 3 21
  1. Reachtel had 50-50 TPP on the 9th of June

    Since then primaries have moved (undecided forced)
    ALP +1.4
    GRN +0.8
    LIB +0.1
    NAT +0.0

    I know at some point they changed the preference flow, but I thought that was before June 9? And Ipsos recons respondent-allocated preferences are better for the ALP.

    Go figure?

  2. I just watched The Project and Waleed Aly had a whack at both major parties over their Asylum Seeker policies.

    Which will shift approximately zero votes from where they were before he said his piece.

  3. Gee, Malcolm effectively reminding everyone of Abbott’s lie about health before the last election was not a good look.

  4. victoria @ #42 Friday, July 1, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Corporate misfit
    Cathy McGowan
    6h6 hours ago
    Cathy McGowan ‏@Indigocathy
    People reporting robocalls supposedly from #CFA. Spoken to CFA, they are not authorised by them. #indivotes

    If the calls do indeed purport to be from the CFA, as opposed to individual CFA volunteers, then it is mis-representation of the most egregious kind and probably unlawful.

  5. The AEC have done a very professional job this election, but they can’t see into the future, and there’s every chance that in some of the seats in SA they will pick the wrong two candidates for the election night two candidate preferred count, for which they shouldn’t be blamed. In such cases, we will all just have to wait for a few days.

    I ran the 1992 by-election in Wills after Bob Kawke retired. We were initially ordered to do the two party preferred count between Liberal and Labor, as normal, but as we got closer to polling day it became more and more evident that Cleary was in with a real chance.

    Only a day or two before the poll I received a call from head office instructing me to do the two party count in the booths between Cleary and the Labor candidate. It took quite a bit of rejigging of the paperwork and the computer system, as well as re-training all the polling officials (they had already been trained to do it the other way) but we got it done and it worked well.

    The AEC tries very hard to get these things right and mostly they do. But I don’t envy their job at all in SA this time.

  6. Remember the couple of days, and particularly the night before, 2010 polling day. The Nielsen result was 52-48 ALP and the Newspoll was 50.8-49.2 (basically 51-49 ALP) but all we heard from Oakes, Brissenden, Riley etc was “this is disaster territory for Gillard, it’s falling apart” and I distinctly remember Oakes saying a hung parliament was coming and alarm bells were ringing. Now he was correct but look how the narrative is flipped now. A 51-49 poll then meant GILLARD IN FREEFALL whereas a 51-49 poll with iffy unknown preferences is “a solid lead for Turnbull, he’ll be returned, give up Shorten” when a hung parliament is a distinct possibility.

  7. I don’t care much for the Labor party, but I strongly agree with that assessment of bias against it. Shorten held to double standards.

  8. WTH! Did I just hear Chris Uhlmann correctly? There will only be ONE ALP gain across the whole of Australia?!!!

  9. @C@Tmomma
    That would be a completely absurd thing to say, even for him. If he really believes that he’s in for a rude surprise tomorrow night.

  10. Barring some unforeseen late swing to Labor, or the marbles otherwise falling perfectly into place for Labor, it’s now looking near certain that the Coalition will be returned, with a reduced majority. For what it’s worth, this has been the result I have pretty much expected since MT took over, and I think Shorten and Labor gave done really well to make it as close as it looks like being.

    While I have long suspected the government’s re-election, I also predict that they will have a troubled second term, with no clear agenda, and a disunited team. 2019 is quite a way at the moment, but Labor should be well-placed when it comes.

    The result tomorrow hinges on the large minor party vote, and where their preferences go, and also the success or otherwise of the NXT candidates in SouthAustralia, and independent elsewhere (esp in NSW).

    I fully expect the Senate to look similar to the ragtag that was there before, so I imagine that Turnbull and co will still struggle to do very much.

    So, one more sleep. See you all on the other side!

  11. [Cathy McGowan ‏@Indigocathy
    People reporting robocalls supposedly from #CFA. Spoken to CFA, they are not authorised by them. #indivotes]

    Now that’s bull shit from the LIBs!

  12. Question:
    The reason they differ is because of the non-ALP/LNP vote coming down. The 4% change has flowed much more favourably to the LNP than the estimated preferences at the time by Reachtel resulting in a 1% swing.

  13. wombat1974: A quick reminder for the vote tomorrow – the “Health Australia Party” are a bunch of crazy anti-vaxxers. Avoid

  14. From Sky News election blog tonight:

    [Tom Rogers from the Australian Electoral Commission says the electoral roll is in the best state it has ever been, and he thinks the youth vote is at its highest.

    On pre-polling, he says up to 50 percent of people voted before July 2 in some seats.]

  15. Question – I was looking at the figures in the Table which show raw (pre forced preference) data with increase to all parties from 9 to 30 June. Taking the figures off the graph – you are correct. And it is hard to explain apart from lower respondent allocated preferences.

  16. ComissionerKate: Heh Aus
    Steve Price will tattoo Bill Shorten on his forehead if Labor win govt
    All undecided voters, you know what to do.

  17. WTH! Did I just hear Chris Uhlmann correctly? There will only be ONE ALP gain across the whole of Australia?!!!

    He kind of did. In a waffly way – wtte ‘well they were expecting X seats, but now maybe none in Queensland, NSW, Victoria; no one knows what’s going on in SA’. There was the impression that the ALP might win hardly anything.

  18. Turnbull banging on about his economic plan again.
    Agility and innovation seem to have gone missing as has Jobsen Groethe.

    One thing that truly amazes me is that I have seen no concerted effort by the ALP to highlight the hypocrisy of those claims when matched against the Coalitions attack on the CSIRO and Science generally and their sabotage of the NBN which is essential to to the industries of the future.

    Maybe I missed it.

  19. “The Guardian endorses the Greens, and also has positive things to say about Labor”.
    The Guardian is a faux-leftish paper – it’s only a front. Essentially they are working for the big-end-of-town like the rest of the media. Witness their treatment of Corbyn in the UK.

  20. Kieran Gilbert
    Kieran Gilbert‏ @Kieran_Gilbert
    Strong Liberal campaign targeting Chinese community in the seat of Barton has some in Labor worried about Linda Burney’s chances #ausvotes

  21. So now… he have Speers suggesting a tightening in internal polling and Uhlmann suggesting ONE gain in the entire country… comethef**kon…

  22. Thank’s Wakefield,

    ReachTel are a bit dicky in the way they present the data. It was only recently someone (apologies for forgetting who that was) pointed out the hover method to get the forced undecideds.

  23. Uhlmann: basically saying Labor could win anywhere between 1 and 15 seats and that either party could govern. Really clinical prediction there.

  24. @Sohar
    I’ve never cared much for the UK Guardian, but Guardian Australia has some great journalists and progressive people in it. They’ve been on point pretty much since they opened up shop in this country.

  25. j341983 @ #87 Friday, July 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    So now… he have Speers suggesting a tightening in internal polling and Uhlmann suggesting ONE gain in the entire country… comethef**kon…


    …..from the one the ABC calls its *best political brain*

    ……and so it goes.

  26. Speers: could Turnbull’s “absolutely” response to the no price rise to visit the doctor question haunt him down the track? It’s like Abbott’s “no cuts to ABC/SBS/Health” comments right?

    Credlin: yes.
    Keneally: yes.
    Gilbert: nah he has wriggle room there.

  27. In the local pub (in Mayo) tonight we all get an SMS from Malcolm Turnbull imploring us to vote for Briggs for a stable governments.
    There were lots of replies!

Comments Page 2 of 21
1 2 3 21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *