I’m back to running primary figures as the headline for the latest fortnightly YouGov-Fifty Acres poll, because their two-party headline figures remain highly unorthodox – in this case attributing a 51-49 lead to the Coalition, compared with 50-50 last time, based on near equal results on the primary vote. The pollster’s other peculiarity, low primary votes for both major parties, are maintained, with the Coalition steady on 34% and Labor up a point to 33%. At 10% apiece, the two larger minor parties are only slightly higher than with the other pollsters, with the Greens down on a fortnight ago and One Nation up one. The larger difference is the the remainder account for 13% (Nick Xenophon Team 5%, Christian parties 4%, other/independent 4%), compared with 9% from both Newspoll and Essential Research.
I’ve also been provided with detail on YouGov’s weightings and breakdowns, which indicate that they are weighting heavily by past vote to correct for an excess of non-major party voters in their sample and a paucity of Coalition voters. By contrast, the age and gender balance of their sample is reasonably proportionate to the overall voting population, aside from the usual problem of having not enough respondents from the 18-24 cohort. This week at least, the dramatic two-party preferred result is down to nearly three-quarters of the 103 surveyed One Nation supporters favouring the Coalition, compared with 50-50 in the 15 lower house seats the party contested last year, and 61-39 at the Western Australian election in March, when the Liberals had the benefit of an across-the-board preference deal (for which they paid the price in other ways). If there really is something in this, this week’s primary vote numbers from Newspoll and Essential Research would have converted to respective Labor leads of 52-48 and 51-49. Perhaps significantly, more than half of the One Nation supporters are identified as having voted for the Coalition last year.
The poll also finds 45% saying Barnaby Joyce should step aside pending the High Court’s ruling on his eligibility, with 38% saying he should remain. On the same-sex marriage plebiscite-survey, 74% rate themselves likely to participate compared with 17% for unlikely; 59% say they will vote yes (down one from early July), with 33% for no (up five); 39% express concern it will lead to “homophobic abuse”, and 42% that it will “cause division”, with respective scores of 51% and 49% for not concerned. Twenty-one per cent support a tax to address the gender pay gap with 59% opposed (16% to 67% among men, 26% to 50% among women). Questions on trust in institutions records 44% expressing trust in banks, 35% in parliament, 41% in newspapers and 72% in Medicare, with respective negative scores of 53%, 63%, 55% and 24%. A question on most important election issues, from which respondents were directed to pick four, has health and hospitals well in the clear on 49%, followed by a big glut between 25% and 29% (pensions, immigrants and asylum seekers, job security and unemployment, living standards, schools and education, the national economy).