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”

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  1. BK

    Rest assured a Turnbull government will guarantee a stable government. For in it there will be several horses’ arses

  2. A B
    Friday, July 1, 2016 at 7:25 pm
    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.

    The combined NXT & OTH (the 2 I didn’t list) has gone from 14.3 to 12 (it looks like they stopped polling NXT outside SA). Almost all of that would have to flow to the LNP to offest the combined ALP & GRN increase of 2.2, and that would be to get the L-NP back to 50-50. But it’s gone further than that. The L-NP are on 51?

    It just looks odd. I know ReachTel fiddled with their preferences flows at some stage, but I thought that was a while back.

  3. Lol

    Tony Windsor
    Tony Windsor‏ @TonyHWindsor
    Just got call from the PM telling me not to vote for me . Must be a close election Does this mean I have to send back his donation #auspol

    Desperate much?


    Bluey is hanging up his saddle after this bulletin. He has penned well over 100,000 words during the past 100 or so days.
    He is looking for a new rock pool coz the bipeds wrecked his last home. When he finds one with a colour scheme of living coral, he will go back to lurking.
    He has mostly enjoyed his attempts at the dark arts of bullshitting about politics but there have been a couple of times when he nearly tossed the occie ink pot into the void.

    Bluey has enjoyed the occasional japery with bipeds and take this opportunity to say that he has appreciated both the jibes and the occasional thankyous.

    Anyhoo, he encourages all youse bipeds to put in one last effort tomorrow and then to come to terms with the results this weekend and to get on with life as best as youse can.

    Bluey thanks William for his forebearance.

    Bluey notes that the same shower of newspapers which endorsed Abbott are now endorsing Turnbull. Bluey reckons doing the same thing and expecting a different result may be a sign of madness. It is certainly a sign that the MSM is a vapid bunch of intellectual slackarses.

    Bluey was cut to quick by an image linked by Swamprat which showed one of Bluey’s cuzzes all cut up and cooked. Bluey reckons two can play at that game. Here is one in the eye for you Swamprat.

    And while Bluey is at it, here is one for C@tmomma:

    Bluey delegated watching Sales interview Shorten to Boerwar but the latter piked. Bluey reckons that Boerwar has about the same spine as Bam Bam. Bluey has stopped watching Chasers, Mad as Hell and 7.30 and now has very little interest in the fate of the ABC. Bluey reckons there is some gold amongst the dross but, as far as Bluey is concerned, the whole organisation should be cut up an used as crab bait in the World’s Most Dangerous Job.

    Bluey notes that that the spread in the Liberal polled primaries is around 6% but that, after preferences, the spread in the 2PP is only 2%. Bluey is innumerate so/but he is confused by the numbers. Bluey is sure that the pollsters mean well. Bluey reckons that what Labor needed was 51.5% and a bit of luck in the marginal. Niether obtain. That is the fat lady singing right there. Bluey is heartened that Shorten continues to close the gap with Turnbull on PPM. Well done, Bill!

    Mr Turnbull sought to raise the tone the other day about how he wants more ‘civility’. This morning Bluey heard Joyce call Shorten a ‘liar’ at least half a dozen times. Bluey looks forward to Turnbull disavowing Joyce’s lack of civility.
    Bluey went and voted this afternoon. Bluey told the Greens THV person that he had cast either a first or a second pref for the Greens for as long as there had been a Greens party but that this was finished this election because of Di Natale’s repeated attacks on Labor and Di Natale’s feeding Turnbull and The Australian. The HTVer said that at least in the ACT everyone had been ‘civil’.
    Bluey wanted to know what was ‘civil’ about Di Natale calling Shorten a ‘liar’, stating that Labor and Liberal were Coles and Woolworth, and Di Natale lying about Labor’s intention to form a multi-party government with the Greens. ‘Why,’ Bluey asked, ‘Was Di Natale so intent on helping Turnbull hold power?’ At that stage, the Greens HTVer did a Bam Bam and buggered off.
    Bluey would like to point out that Bluey did all this without eating any Greens babies.

    Cassidy opined that Shorten needed a 10 seat gain to avoid Leadershit but that Turnbull needed majority government. Bluey assumes this translates into Turnbull being able to lose 14 seats before he runs into Leadershit. Bluey notes that the MSM are back to their old ‘test’ dynamic.
    No-one is talking Leadershit in relation to Di Natale. Bluey reckons we have just had three years of environment wrecking, climate wrecking, asylum seeker bashing, SSM bashing, gross social injustice mongering AND a war. In addition, real wages have the staggers. This should be a gimme for the Greens to increase their vote dramatically. Bluey reckons that if the Greens get less than 15% of the 2PP then Di Natale has failed as a leader. Anything less and the Greens should go back to one of the old-style Greens leaders: the ones with integrity.

    Trioli has been feeding Turnbull’s Dead Bat Campaign by announcing on an almost daily basis that it was all boring. With Cassidy on, she was saying, ‘What is interesting is…’. Bluey reckons yeah, sure, Trioli.

    The Greens have been assuring everyone that all their policies have been costed. Except that they have not been costed. Bluey notes that the Greens gave the PBO their stuff too late. Bluey reckons incompetence or cynical manoeuvring? Take your pick.

    Turnbull put his foot in it big time with his ‘absolutely’ on medical costs not going up because of the freeze. Fortunately for Turnbull, he left it until there was a media blackout. Bluey reckons that Turnbull is going to hear a lot more about this.

    Liberal 81 Labor 64 Greens 1 NXT 1 Indies 3

  5. So I wasn’t hearing things from Uhlmann.
    I’m dazed and confused.

    And I don’t know about Uhlmann getting his predictions from under his bed, I think that’s where he’s going to be sleeping tonight after that prediction!

  6. We really do have to remember that it’s in the lap of the Gods now.

    No-one knows who will win, and any brave predictions are guesswork. Those who guessed correctly will take credit. And those that didn’t will probably melt away.

    But one thing’s for sure: No-one. Knows.

    It’s pretty exciting, actually.

    Liberal 81 Labor 64 Greens 1 NXT 1 Indies 3

    Have to say, Boerwar, you mate Bluey’s never been right yet, so his prediction fills me with hope.

  8. “The Guardian endorses the Greens, and also has positive things to say about Labor”.

    In my view that’s not really accurate when read in context.
    The guardian is not endorsing any party explicitly. At most it implies don’t vote coalition, but pretty equal for Labor, Green “or other candidates with a plausible, fair agenda.”

    “The Guardian is Guardian Australia readers are able to reach their own conclusions. But in our view the Coalition’s offerings are thin, Labor’s go a long way towards a progressive program, and false threats of looming “chaos” should not deter voters from choosing the Greens, or other candidates with a plausible, fair agenda.”

  9. Sorry AB,
    My last post wasn’t very clear.
    The L-NP would have to get a 2% extra preference flow from the current 12% NXT & OTH than they were previously getting from 14.3%. Just to get back to 50-50. And more like 3% to get to 51 (although that could be rounding).

  10. JK @ 7:10 pm
    The difference, of course, is that back in 2010 we had a Labor PM, and in 2016 we have a Liberal PM.

  11. Paul Kelly first commentator I have seen talking about Senate difficulty and humiliation if he does not have numbers to pass IR through DD legislation

  12. ‘Bushfire Bill
    Friday, July 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm
    Liberal 81 Labor 64 Greens 1 NXT 1 Indies 3”’
    Have to say, Boerwar, you mate Bluey’s never been right yet, so his prediction fills me with hope.
    Agree. Bluey has a 100% fail record as a prognosticator.

  13. Guardian Australia‏ @GuardianAus
    Queensland lockout laws: millionaire offers to bankroll campaign to end them

  14. BK

    Can I ask which pub in Mayo?

    Visited a friend in that region a couple of times recently and found a few excellent establishments

    Very nice part of the world.

  15. Thanks for your efforts Bluey. How you could convince BoerWar to post your analysis each day is quite impressive.

  16. Boerwar,
    I know that Bluey thinks in 8 different directions at once and has a tendency to be obscurantist, so, it is with this firmly front of the C@t’s mind that I wish to thank Bluey for the above reference in his pre-election finale post and it’s encoded message, thus spake:

    : )

  17. BW – Thanks to Bluey and your good self for a huge effort over so long a campaign..

    That 20 point tory bonus still stinks though.


  18. BK
    I was perusing the stunt archives the other day. It is getting harder and harder to add colour. Turnbull has not kissed a single fish, has not driven a truck, has not eaten a raw onion, has not ridden a horse, has not conducted open heart surgery…

  19. Sportsbet says Labor favourite to win the following seats from the Coalition – Burt, Lyons, Eden Monaro, Page, Macarthur, Patterson, Dobell, Barton, Capricornia, Petrie, Solomon.
    On the downside for Labor, the Greens are now the favourite to win Batman, and the Libs are now favourites in Cowan.
    Two seats that are worth watching tomorrow night, where the odds for Labor has improved a little, albeit the Coalition are still narrow favourites…….Macquarie, Brisbane.

  20. More Coorey –

    Medicare poses late scare as Liberals cling to narrow lead

    The federal government’s cuts to Medicare have flared in the dying hours of the election campaign, posing a late threat to the Coalition’s modest lead which hinges on holding the line in NSW, where a large number of seats remain volatile.

    Less than 24 hours before polling booths opened and with the polls tight, Malcolm Turnbull was exposed when letters emerged from doctors informing patients of a new a co-payment for visits because of the government’s plans to continue the freeze on the Medicare rebate paid to GPs.

    The letters appeared just after the Prime Minister, when asked on morning television whether he could guarantee people would not pay more to see the doctor due to the freeze, said “absolutely and bulk-billing is at an all-time high”.

    The development gave Labor hope it could close the gap on the Coalition, which has its nose ahead in all the national polls

    …Mr Turnbull lashed the doctors, effectively accusing them of rorting

    …Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Turnbull had been caught out.

    “It is outrageous. It is untruthful. And he knows the facts are different to what he said on television this morning,” Mr Shorten said.

    “Tomorrow the Australian people, I suspect, are going to send a very clear message to Malcolm Turnbull: ‘Hands off Medicare’.”

    Read more:

  21. I thought Kelly was spouting drivel. Apparently Labor don’t care about the economy as much as the Libs and are banking on the public being not so caring because the are proposing big spending and big taxes. The level of policy debate in and among the media is pathetic and ill informed.

  22. I think the really bizarre thing this election is that Independents or third parties may be the 1st or second candidate in many electorates. Try these possibilities:
    All 11 seats in SA
    Fremantle, Denison
    Melbourne, Melbourne Ports, Wills, Higgins, Batman
    Murray, Indi, Menzies, Kooyong
    Grayndler, Sydney, Richmond, Page, Wentworth, Berowra, Bradfield, North Sydney
    Cowper, New England, Warringah, Mackellar,
    Brisbane, WideBay, Kennedy, Ryan

    I am not sayiong ALL these seats will go to independents or even that they will be one of the top two candidates but in every one there is a reasonable chance that the TPP will not be between Liberal and Labor.

  23. Yabba88 Friday, July 1, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Somrthing nasty has happened to the third comments page. Has lost its right margin.

    I suspect it might be that very large link, or whatever it was, by BK.

  24. They say its impossible to do FTTP in UK…

    Gigaclear plc‏ @gigaclear
    We’re working towards more rural areas accessing our ultrafast network with a new strategic partnership @CityFibre

  25. @Boerwar
    Your costings story misses the fact that the Greens submitted and released their costings at the start of the campaign, the most recent batch were just the same policies being updated and re-checked against more recent info. The first 75 of those policies were costed twice, the final 12 were only costed once.

    And on your “Civility” stunt, you wouldn’t be the first Labor hack to pretend to be a “former Greens voter”, and you won’t be the last. If Labor hacks who want to damage the Greens are unhappy with Di Natale, that’s probably a good sign.

  26. The stunt thing reminds me of a cartoon in ‘The Age’ during the Kennett era.

    It had Kennett dancing solo at the ballet, painting prize winning portraits, composing sonnets, etc etc…with the final frame with wtte of “Pity he’s such a sh*t human being.”


    Austria’s highest court overturns presidential runoff

    The far-right Freedom Party had challenged the second round narrowly won by Alexander Van der Bellen.

    Matthew Karnitschnig

    7/1/16, 12:07 PM CET

    Updated 7/1/16, 12:08 PM CET

    Austria’s highest court on Friday overturned the result of the recent presidential runoff over widespread regulatory breaches involving postal ballots.

    The decision by the Constitutional Court upheld a challenge by the far-right Freedom Party, whose candidate Norbert Hofer narrowly lost the May 22 ballot to the former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen. It forces a new runoff, which could take place in September.

    The court’s move is likely to reignite the recent political turmoil in Austria, where a surge in support for the populist Freedom Party is upending the country’s postwar order.

    Van der Bellen was set to be sworn in next week.

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