It’s been a quiet week on the poll front, and indeed it’s worth noting that polling generally is thinner on the ground than it used to be – the once weekly Essential Research series went fortnightly at the start of the year, neither Sky News nor Seven has been treating us to federal ReachTEL polls like they used to, and even the Fairfax-Ipsos poll has pared back its sample sizes in recent times from 1400 to 1200. I suspect we won’t be getting the normally-fortnightly Newspoll on Sunday night either, as these are usually timed to coincide with the resumption of parliament, for which we will have to wait another week. I can at least relate the following:
• The Guardian has results from a ReachTEL poll of Wentworth conducted for independent candidate Licia Heath, conducted last Thursday from a sample of 727. After exclusion of the 5.6% undecided the results are Dave Sharma (Liberal) 43.0%; Tim Murray (Labor) 20.7%; Kerryn Phelps (independent) 17.9%; Licia Heath (independent) 10.0% and Dominic Wy Kanak (Greens) 6.6%. The poll also comes with a 51-49 Liberal-versus-Labor two-party result, but this a) assumes Tim Murray would not be overtaken by Kerryn Phelps after allocation of preferences, and b) credits Labor with over three-quarters of independent and minor party preferences, which seems highly implausible. The poll also reportedly finds “as many as 52% of people said high-profile independent candidate Kerryn Phelps’ decision to preference the Liberals made it less likely they would give her their vote”, but this would seem to be a complex issue given Phelps’s flip-flop on the subject.
• The Guardian also has results of polling by ReachTEL for the Australian Education Union on the federal goverment’s funding deal for Catholic and independent schools, conducted last Thursday from a sample of 1261 respondents in Corangamite, Dunkley, Forde, Capricornia, Flynn, Gilmore, Robertson and Banks. The report dwells too much on what the small sub-sample of undecided voters thought, but it does at least relate that 38.6% of all respondents said the deal made them less likely to vote Liberal.
• Back to Wentworth, I had a paywalled article on the subject in Crikey, and took part in a mostly Wentworth-related podcast yesterday with Ben Raue of The Tally Room, along with Georgia Tkachuk of Collins Gartrell, which you can access below.