ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor

Little change on voting intention in a ReachTEL poll that also covers Section 44, the burqa, drug testing of welfare recipients, and likelihood of participation in the same-sex marriage survey.

Sky News reports its latest monthly ReachTEL poll has Labor with a 52-48 lead on respondent-allocated preferences, up from 51-49 a month ago. The primary votes provided do not exclude the undecided, the number of which isn’t specified, but the numbers we have to work with for now are Coalition 32% (down one), Labor 34% (steady), Greens 9% (up one) and One Nation 10% (down one). There will have been a further forced response question for the undecided, but the numbers for this have been a bit elusive lately – I will hopefully be able to get hold of them tomorrow, which will then allow me to report definitive primary votes excluding the undecided, and also a two-party preferred result based on previous election preferences, which will be stronger for Labor than the headline result. The poll also records Malcolm Turnbull with a slender 52-48 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

Among the other questions posed were likelihood of participation in the same-sex marriage plebiscite-survey, which recorded results of 79% likely, 10% somewhat likely, 4% somewhat unlikely and 7% very unlikely, with the oldest cohort apparently the least likely to participate. Contrary to YouGov, the poll did not find strong support for those embroiled in the Section 44 saga standing down, with 39% saying they should and 50% saying they should not. A question on whether the burqa should be banned found 44% strong support, 13% support, 12% opposition and 19% strong opposition. For drug testing of welfare recipients, the results were 53% strong support, 15% support, 9% opposition and 11% strong opposition.

The poll was conducted yesterday, presumably from a sample of around 2300 (UPDATE: Make that 2832).

UPDATE: As related by GhostWhoVotes, the primary votes after exclusion of the undecided are Coalition 34.5% (down 2.7%), Labor 36.7% (up 1.6%), Greens 10.3% (up 1.5%) and One Nation 10.4% (down 1.3%). That would actually transfer into a blowout Labor lead of 54.5-45.5, based on 2016 preference flows. However, taken together with the YouGov results noted in the previous post, it does seem respondent-allocated preferences are proving considerably more favourable to the Coalition. This may suggest that a 50-50 split of One Nation preferences, as per the 2016 election, is unduly flattering to Labor, as most of the support One Nation has gained since the election has come from former Coalition voters.

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.

699 comments on “ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor”

  1. kakuru

    Sudmalis much less so.

    From what I’ve seen of Sudmalis she’s got not much to recommend her.

    The seat must be very ‘safe’!

  2. I agree though that 83 seats is quite a high watermark for Labor. No matter what the polls currently say, it will be hard to top that.

    Labor last topped 53% 2PP in the 1983 election (first Hawke victory) with a popular leader, unpopular PM of a tired Government and the country in the economic doldrums.

  3. Tempering expectations is sensible and I expect Labor to pull 53.x at best at a general election.

    But it isn’t 2007. Howard was widely respected. It was BS, but he was thought to have been behind the boom. He was seen as having overreached with Workchoices and past his best feeding into the It’s Time momentum, but he certainly wasn’t seen as weak and his government incompetent and divided.

    Shorten won’t have people falling for him like Rudd did, but he doesn’t need to. This government is driving people away from them with so much success it could be the only real talent they have.

  4. From The Guardian…

    ABC chided for Trump bias
    Even when it comes to Donald Trump the ABC has to maintain perfect balance. The broadcaster’s complaints division has upheld a complaint about an interview with Max Bergmann from the Centre for American Progress on the ABC News channel’s program The World. The complaint was that the interview was a “one-sided criticism of Donald Trump” and the presenter failed to disclose the political affiliations of the Centre for American Progress.

    “The ABC agreed that more information should have been provided about the Centre for American Progress. This information was relevant and important to the audience and its absence meant that viewers were not able to weigh Mr Bergmann’s observations and criticisms in their proper context. Accordingly, the broadcast was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial requirement not to present factual content in a way that will materially mislead the audience.”

    Yeah, I agree they should disclose the political affiliations of their contributors.

    Just like they disclose that the IPA is a Liberal Party right-wing “think” tank (on the rare occasions someone from the IPA is on, that is).

  5. Just like they disclose that the IPA is a Liberal Party right-wing “think” tank (on the rare occasions someone from the IPA is on, that is).

    Heavy sarcasm I presume!

  6. BB,

    I hardly see that as bias, more the omission of information that should rightfully have been provided.

    As for information that should be provided the beginning of the article relating to the replacement of ABC News programme listings with that of Sky News.

  7. The RW vote is very deeply split. The comparison should be with the Labor/Grouper divisions of the 1950s and 60s. This split will not only shrink the LNP PV on the right. It will also shrink it in the centre and deliver prefs to Labor.

    Jus as long as the Gs don’t amp up some kind of war (other than with themselves) Labor will be the beneficiaries of the rerun of ON.

  8. More maneuvering between Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Gulf States –

    Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran early on Thursday and promised to send its ambassador back to Tehran — a move counter to the demands of Arab nations trying to isolate Doha as part of a regional dispute.

    In announcing its decision, Qatar made no mention of the diplomatic crisis roiling Gulf Arab nations since June, when Doha found its land, sea and air routes cut off by the four Arab states.

    Iran, which welcomed Doha’s decision, has sent food to Qatar and allowed its airplanes to increasingly use the Islamic Republic’s airspace.

  9. I wonder if Abbott’s ‘drinking on duty’ has been revived because of the intention to drug test welfare receivers.
    Sauce for the goose…

  10. jenauthor

    Didn’t Sudmailis slip into selection because she was a staffer? She’s on permanent view in QT, but frankly never quite looks as if she knows what’s happening.

  11. Andrew Robb’s secret squirrel negotiations on trade were unpopular and now we know more about his true character we can feel justified.

    The commission criticises the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which has been highly secretive on trade negotiations, allowing large corporations to see the draft text but keeping civil society groups and the public in the dark. The paper says, pointedly:

    ““(E)ngaging with parties capable of offering critical assessment of proposals, not just parties seeking an advantage or protecting a constituency, would improve the process. Once a draft agreement is completed, exposing it to public scrutiny before it is signed into law would also help meet community expectations for a more inclusive consultation approach.

  12. The Federal Court of Australia has thrown out two other bids to stop the controversial Adani coal mine going ahead in central Queensland.

    The full bench dismissed appeals by the Australian Conservation Foundation and traditional land owner Adrian Burragubba on Friday.

    The ACF had sought to successfully argue a legal technicality that Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg had not considered the effect of the mine’s emissions on the Great Barrier Reef under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.

  13. Boerwar

    Smashed avocado smuggling operation?

    The recovered avocados were entire, but the thieves may have intended to smash them prior to distribution to increase the street value.

  14. Mathias Cormann’s thunderous address at the Sydney Institute in the midst of a preposterous week of politics in a miserable month for the government was met with substantial joy in some Labor circles. On Wednesday night the Finance Minister, one of the government’s grown-ups, went into full Cold War mode in an attack on Bill Shorten.

    Julie Bishop’s claim last week that Bill Shorten was somehow involved in a nefarious plot with New Zealand to bring down the government was not just absurd, it smacked of desperation.

    And this brings us back to Cormann’s speech at the Sydney Institute.

    The government is spooked by consistent polling showing it is lagging Labor. The only upside for it is that Australians still don’t much like Shorten. As a result the government is focusing its efforts on attacking him rather than championing its own policies. Labor rightly sees this as a sign that the government is deeply worried.

    Even in laying out a case against Labor’s economic agenda in front of a sympathetic audience, Cormann focused on Shorten, and his rhetoric tended towards hysterical.

    The government’s charge sheet against Shorten now includes the allegations that he is a soft unionist who failed his members, a Soviet fifth columnist, a British citizen and a New Zealand secret agent. None of it is consistent, little of it makes sense and none of it is sticking.

  15. I posted my breakdown of the marginal electorates a few days ago, but Labor only need a 2 percent swing to wind up with 80 seats (picking up 11). If the average 3.5 percent lead holds, they’ll pick up about 16 and wind up with 85.
    As others pointed out though, the Victorian redistribution may have an effect on this.
    Edited: Got my elections confused.

  16. Dreyfus should leave off with expressions such as “activist”.

    In any event, the argument which he attributes to Canavan is the argument of the SG as well.

  17. From the AEC website:

    16m+ Australians will be eligible to participate in the marriage survey – the largest roll since federation #auspol— AEC (@AusElectoralCom) August 25, 2017

    Is that 765k total enrollments, or 7656k plus the 165k still to be processed?

    Either way, that’s an absolute catastrophe for the L/NP and they’ll pay dearly for the ME farce at the next election as a result of the demographic time bomb it built. It’s just one more example of the appalling judgement of Brian Trumble.

    I’ll be interested to see the split between updates and new enrolments.

  18. Narns

    you can’t exactly anticipate someone picking up a…bat in a statistics class,” he said.

    I mean, what are the odds?

    Top comment!

  19. William Bowe @ #486 Friday, August 25th, 2017 – 1:30 pm

    “Of the 765,000 enrolment transactions processed up to Thursday, 90,000 were additions to the roll.”

    Thanks for the 90k input, should have asked that too.

    The question that I miscommunicted was, the ABS tweet says that 765k transactions have been processed. It then says there are 165k more transactions to be worked though.

    Is the overall total 765k? Or is the total 765k + 165k = 930k total updates?

    So I’m clear, is the total from the last two weeks 765k or 930k?

  20. lizzie @ #436 Friday, August 25th, 2017 – 1:01 pm

    “I didn’t expect something like this to happen but you can’t exactly anticipate someone picking up a…bat in a statistics class,” he said.

    At Monash University some years ago it was not a bat, but a gun in an Economic Statistics class.
    ANU got off lightly.

  21. kakuru @ #446 Friday, August 25th, 2017 – 1:24 pm

    Kevin Bonham
    “Those expecting enormous Labor wins at the next election should keep in mind that in 2007 Labor led by 55-45 or more (at times over 60-40) continually for most of the election year and still only won 83 seats.”

    In 2007, Labor was coming off a very low base (60 seats IIRC), thanks to Latham’s effort in 2004. So a gain of 23 seats wasn’t a bad result.

    I agree though that 83 seats is quite a high watermark for Labor. No matter what the polls currently say, it will be hard to top that.

    Oh the old fallacy about the number of seats you have to win emerges.
    But you also rightly point to Latham’s effort at the previous election.

    Simple fact: You get the votes, you win the seats.

    Nothing to do with the previous election result and seats won or not won then.

  22. CTar1 @ #451 Friday, August 25th, 2017 – 1:41 pm
    Sudmalis worked in Gash’s office in Nowra is sitting on a margin of about 1500 votes . Tightest margin in NSW. From the branch talk she has little chance of retaining the seat


    Sudmalis much less so.

    From what I’ve seen of Sudmalis she’s got not much to recommend her.

    The seat must be very ‘safe’!

  23. If there is one thing that Labor supporters get used to is the Tories playing the loyalty card as a matter of course…How can you be a ‘true’ Australian if you support a Socialist/Communist/Anti-Imperial/Pro Union/Capitalist Hating/Envy-filled/Catholic (in former days) party? I was listening to a reading on ABC last night of the 1890s in Oz at the height of the Shearers’ Strikes and the subsequent recession. The rhetoric from the right of politics has hardly changed tune in 120 years.

  24. Grimace :
    “A further 675,000 people had updated their electoral details, and 165,000 transactions were yet to be processed as of Thursday night, the AEC said. In total, almost 1 million Australians had either enrolled for the first time or updated their details.
    Once all transactions are processed, the number of new voters should easily exceed 100,000. Electoral Commissioner Tim Rogers said he expected the total proportion of Australians on the roll, which was 95.3 per cent on July 31, to reach a “record high” once processing was completed.”

  25. Turnbull still attacking Shorten – does the man ever do what he was elected to do?

    ‘Produce citizenship evidence’
    The PM says it’s clear Bill Shorten inherited UK citizenship, and he should prove that he has renounced it.

  26. William Bowe
    “Of the 765,000 enrolment transactions processed up to Thursday, 90,000 were additions to the roll.”

    And 165k still to be processed. The last few days were always going to be the busiest.

  27. Re avocados: They are apparently $7 each in NZ and the Mob have moved in to pinch them and then sell them them on line or back to market stalls at a price they cannot refuse. Who would have thought it – Bootleg Avocados?

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