As reported here in early May, British-based market research giant YouGov has entered the Australian federal polling game, in conjunction with Australian communications agency Fifty Acres. After reporting attitudinal polling on a fortnightly basis over recent months, the pollster has produced its first set of voting intention numbers, which are exclusively related below.
First though, a few points about methodology. The poll is conducted through an online panel, similar to Essential Research, and indeed an increasingly dominant share of public opinion polls internationally. The polling is conducted fortnightly from Thursday to Tuesday from a sample of a bit over 1000 respondents (1125 in the case of the latest survey), drawn from its pool of survey volunteers.
With respect to voting intention, respondents are presented with a mock ballot paper featuring (together with party logos) Coalition options that vary by state, Labor, the Greens, One Nation, Nick Xenophon Team, Katter’s Australian Party, a generic option for “Christian parties”, and “other/independent”. The results are weighted not just by age, gender and region, which is standard in Australian polling, but also by education and past vote. The latter two are common in Britain but, as far as I’m aware, unique in Australia. Needless to say, this leads to two-party preferred results based on respondent allocation, rather than results from previous elections.
The results for this week’s poll are distinctive in the narrowness of the two-party preferred, with Labor’s lead at 51-49, and low primary votes for both major parties, which come in at 34% for Labor and 33% for the Coalition. Results for the minor parties are Greens 12%, One Nation 7%, Christian parties 4%, Nick Xenophon Team 3%, Katter’s Australian Party 1% and other/independent 6%.
The first thing to be noted is that Labor would record a much stronger lead of 54-46 if preferences were distributed as per the 2016 result, rather than respondent allocation. However, such is the size of the non-major party vote that this would be heavily dependent on preference flows remaining stable despite some fairly dramatic changes in vote share. The second point is that the Greens are two to three points higher than the recent form of Newspoll and Essential Research, although not Ipsos. One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team respectively come in at 7% and 3%, which would be fairly typical coming from Essential Research, but the combined vote of 11% for everyone else is around double the equivalent figure from Newspoll and Essential Research over the past two months.
For the regular attitudinal questions, this fortnight’s poll focuses on Donald Trump, with findings that 58% consider him “erratic” and a third “unhinged” (not sure if the one response here precludes the other, or if we should combine them to conclude that nearly everybody considers him unstable or worse); that 47% think his presidency threatens to destabilise the world; that 44% feel he won’t last long; and that 52% think his use of Twitter not suitable for a world leader. The poll also records 52% saying Australia is “ready to be fully powered by renewables”, 47% considering climate change a threat to the economy, and 51% supporting the inclusion of clean coal in a clean energy target.
NOTE: Separate to this one, I have a new post that takes a detailed look at the census results.