Ipsos: 51-49 to Labor

The first Ipsos poll for the year produces a much stronger result for the Coalition – but another poll finds them struggling in Queensland.

The first Ipsos poll of the year for the Nine newspapers is the best for the Coalition of the five published under Scott Morrison’s prime ministership, with Labor’s lead cut from 54-46 to 51-49 since the December poll. The Coalition gains two on the primary vote to 38% while Labor slips four to 33% (albeit that the last result was something of an outlier, as Ipsos leans on the low side with primary votes for both major parties). The Greens meanwhile are steady on 13%, a characteristically high result for them from Ipsos. The two-party figure is presumably based on 2016 election preference flows – we should have a result for respondent-allocated preferences later (UPDATE: 51-49 on respondent-allocated preferences as well).

There is little corresponding movement on leadership ratings: Scott Morrison is up two on approval to 49% and up one on disapproval to 40%, Shorten is down one to 40% and up two to 52% (relatively positive results on leadership ratings being a further peculiarity of Ipsos), and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister shifts from 46-37 to 48-38. The poll was conducted from a sample of 1200 from Tuesday to Friday, which makes it an imperfect measure of the impact, if any, of the parliamentary vote on asylum seekers on Tuesday.

The same goes for the other poll this weekend, a Queensland-only affair on federal voting intention by YouGov Galaxy for the Courier-Mail (state voting intention results from the poll can be found in the post below). The news here for the government is bad, with Labor recording a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, which represents a 6% swing in that state since the 2016 election, and compares with a 50-50 result at the last such poll in November. The primary votes are Coalition 35% (down three on the last poll, compared with 43.2% at the 2016 election), Labor 34% (steady, compared with 30.9%), Greens 10% (up one, compared with 8.8%) and One Nation 8% (down one, and they only ran in a few seats in 2016).

The poll also has a question on the party with the “better plan on border security and asylum seekers” which finds the Coalition leading 44% to 29%, which is a par-for-the-course result for such a question. The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 810.

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.

2,918 comments on “Ipsos: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. I just saw a piece on the ABC late night news saying Bernie Sanders might find it difficult to stand out now that so many other Democrats have copied his agenda, and later said many in the Democrat party worry that he’s not mainstream enough.

    I’m not sure how that works?

  2. DTT said:

    “Israel is behaving towards the Palestinians as the very worst sort of colonialists at best and at worst a reincarnation of the Warsaw ghetto.”

    So she/he said Israels’s behaviour was in a range from the worst of colonialism to SS atrocities in Warsaw.

    briefly says:

    “dtt equates the actions of Israel with the atrocities of the SS in Warsaw. There is no doubt whatsoever that this is an anti-Semitic defamation.”

    My view:

    1. DTT was incorrect to use the SS atrocities in Warsaw as an example of the worst case.

    2. briefly is incorrect in saying DTT “equates the actions od=f Israels with the SS atrocties”.

  3. briefly @ #2840 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 – 7:38 pm

    The IG are going after the Remainer vote, which is larger.

    Who says it’s larger? Polls? The same polls that predicted Remain would win the original referendum?

    And what exactly are 11 “independents” going to achieve in a parliament of 650 seats? That of course assumes all 11 of them will win their seats back, which is one hell of an assumption.

    And of this so called Independent Group, who is their leader? The very name “independent” implies they don’t have one. It’s bleeding obvious they’re never going to reach any form of consensus as to what they actually stand for, therefore their longevity is in serious doubt. And again, that assumes all of them will be re-elected.

    Expecting this loose gaggle to save Britain is an extremely long bow to draw when their ability to even retain their place in parliament is another long bow.

  4. Dan Gulberry

    And what exactly are 11 “independents” going to achieve in a parliament of 650 seats? That of course assumes all 11 of them will win their seats back, which is one hell of an assumption.

    Conservatives plus DUP no longer have a majority.
    The next election isn’t scheduled for another 3 years. Do you think May will call another election soon?

  5. DG,

    The independents see their parties heading toward a belligerent Brexit balls-up, don’t want to be a part of it, and think making a public display of their dissent is their best option.

  6. DTT

    “i think the Palestinians suffer MORE than the Jewish people did in Warsaw.”


    DTT, I find this inexplicable.

    The Warsaw ghetto ended in essentially all occupants being exterminated.

    Brutal and illegal is Israel’s occupation of Palestine, it has not yet led to extermination.

  7. Question

    “All “remain” MP’s should join the Independents.”


    This assumes being in or out of the EU overrides everything else.

  8. What ARE you Sanders fans talking about?

    He’s 77 years old. Would be 80 at inauguration.

    88 at leaving office.

    Get a grip! He won’t last the distance.

  9. I have to admit I had to Google Eugene McCarthy, but the analogy is definitely plausible.

    Sanders filled the anti-Hillary vacuum in 2016. And like the vacuum McCarthy filled in early 1968, this was a fleeting opportunity, seized and then gone. For a moment, it took Sanders to the heart of a buzzing, sparking madness. And much as McCarthy’s moment ended with Nixon, the Sanders moment faded with the weird, flawed figure of Trump in the White House.

    However the 2020 campaign might unfold for the Democrats, there is no wounded giant to define the party fray. Minus the vacuum, Sanders will find, like gruff Gene, that his moment is gone, his agenda absorbed by more plausible candidates, his future behind him. Only the residue of unslaked ambition remains.


  10. Question

    As a prelude: I consider myself an Australian Nationalist and Socialist and consider patriotism a nasty ideology. But you may think patriotism is good and nationalism is bad, but that is semantics.

    Well, about being in or out of EU overriding everything else, what I mean us that policies on equality, sustainability and rule of law override whther one is in the EU or not.

  11. Late Riser @ #2854 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 – 8:18 pm

    Dan Gulberry

    And what exactly are 11 “independents” going to achieve in a parliament of 650 seats? That of course assumes all 11 of them will win their seats back, which is one hell of an assumption.

    Conservatives plus DUP no longer have a majority.
    The next election isn’t scheduled for another 3 years. Do you think May will call another election soon?

    Good question. I assume that not having a majority of seats in the UK parliament works the same as it works here, ie they don’t actually need a majority of seats, just the “confidence” of a majority of seats.

    So I guess it all depends on whether the whole group gives its “confidence” to May or not. Given the actual seat count at the moment, May only needs 1 of them to retain “confidence”. If the “confidence” is split along the lines of former party affiliation then of course the status quo is maintained.

    That raises further questions about the longevity of this so called Independent Group. What happens if they do vote their “confidence” for May along the lines of their former party affiliation. That means the Group will be split before it even gets off the ground.

    As for calling a new election, I’m not quite sure what would happen if May cannot get the “confidence” of a majority of seats. Based on what happens here, the Queen may ask if Labour (or any other party for that matter) can actually provide enough votes to establish a majority. If not, then I don’t think there’s any other option than to hold another election.

    Given what a shambles May’s last campaign was like I doubt she’d call for another election of her own volition. Say what you like about him, but Corbyn is a far better campaigner than May (yeah, I know it’s a low bar).

    Sadly, if a new election is called, I can’t see either the Tories or Labour, or any other party for that matter gaining a majority of seats, or even the “confidence” of a majority of seats. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

  12. swamprat,

    If all the “remain” MP’s leave their parties to block Brexit what difference will that make to policies on equality, sustainability and rule of law?

    Nationalism only leads to war.

  13. ItzaDream @ #2869 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 – 11:49 pm

    We’re in Melbourne, just back from a show about Redemption through Compassion, and this jumps right off the screen at me –

    This is worse than bastardry; this is a state-sanctioned crime against humanity.

    (Dr Nick Martin, GP and former senior chief medical officer on Nauru.)

    Having a problem with the edit function – trying to remove “chief” between senior and medical officer, so it reads “senior medical officer”.

  14. Accurate take on the Pommy independent group.

    Ash Sarkar@AyoCaesar
    The Independent Group don’t represent a progressive alternative to two-party politics.
    It’s officially just a holding pen for people who all hate Brexit, but also really like the disastrous economic policies which made it happen in the first place.

  15. Question

    “Nationalism only leads to war.”

    I have no idea what you mean by nationalism. I assume you oppose self-determinaion in favour of the Imperial “State”

    So you support the Han Chinese dominance over the Tibetans, the Uygiors’, and the Javanese over the West Papuans, regardless of what peopple want? etc.

    In opposition to you, I believe that self-determination only leads to war when the Imperialist power wants to suppress self-determination.

    That you support the side of state repression sadens me.

  16. The obsession that a small number of people in both major partirssperplexes me. Any given foreign affairs matter is of little interest to 99% of people, with the 1% who are interested (obsessed) having made up their minds on the matter and who they are voting for long ago.

    Consequently foreign affairs matters can only loose votes for a party. Case in point is ScoMo’s Israel embassy move brainfart. It contributed materially to the loss of Wentworth, and luckily for him, wiser heads in the Liberal party have discreetly euthanased the idea and kicked further contemplation of it into the long grass.

  17. Question @ #2874 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 – 8:56 pm


    I see no reason why Independents can’t agree on Brexit, and vote with their original party on everything else.

    Are there enough of them to actually change anything though?

    Plus if they vote on party lines on every other issue they’re hardly independent, and not much of a group either.

    One way they could expand their “group” though is by subjecting themselves to by-elections. If they manage to retain their seats that would inspire more MPs to follow their lead. I notice that none of them have done that though (so far).

  18. @sallyrugg Sally Rugg Retweeted The Australian

    The Australian@australian
    Australians are swapping French bubbly for cheaper sparkling wines as they worry more about living costs

  19. swamprat,

    I am using the terms correctly and you need to make an effort to understand them if you want to be correctly understood in political debate.

    I consider myself an Australian Nationalist and Socialist

    This is a particularly dangerous mix of words. Google “National Socialist”.

    I assume you oppose self-determinaion in favour of the Imperial “State”

    This sounds like something a Libertarian would say. I believe in government. Nationalists believe in authoritarian government.

    Google Nationalism and you will get this “Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.”

    “After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent. In a speech delivered on 19 September 1946 at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, Winston Churchill went further and advocated the emergence of a United States of Europe.”

  20. Love the way that Briefly and his cronies keep banging on about Corbyn being able to prevent a hard Brexit, being able to do this, or do that. He attribute tremendous powers to the man, but really it’s all down to the fact that Briefly cannot count. Labour simply do not have the numbers…end of. Let’s have another, lucid recap of Brexit.
    a) the Tories called for the vote.
    b) the Tories ran the remain campaign and botched it.
    c) the Tories ran and botched negotiations with the EU.

    But in Briefly’s world, a singular one I must admit, one Jeremy Corbyn is all to blame. Anybody who disagrees is a anti Semite, a Trot, or a revolutionary communists take your pick.

  21. To have a shot at holding their seats – at having a real political purpose – the Independents will have to try to prevent Brexit. If they can put the numbers together for that in the days that are left, they will have achieved something very remarkable and will attract a lot of support. If they are not able to do this they will likely disappear….their places most likely to be taken by the Tories.

    If the Remainer ranks in Labour and the Tories were to join them, together with the SNP and the LDP, they could avert Brexit and maybe roll May.

    It’s a very tall order. But Brexit is a catastrophe in waiting. Anything is possible.

  22. Dan Gulberry,I tend to make allowances for Briefly, well you just need to, as it’s the charitable thing to do, despite his repetitive use of ugly smears against anybody who argues with his ‘interesting’ analysis. At least he has not run with his grand conspiracy theories this week, you know, the one where Corbyn is in bed with Putin and le Pen.

  23. Briefly, the main motivator for the Sellout Seven was that they were going be de selected. most will have no chance in their seats without Labour endorsement. Berger will not get her deposit back in Wavertree.

  24. Question

    OK i did not realise that saying i was both a nationalist and a socialist meant I was a Nazi. It’s a difficult path. Maybe its impossible to meet the latest liberal wank.

    But i don’t care.

    I think wanky “liberals” is the handmaiden of reactionary-ism

  25. https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/02/17/ipsos-51-49-labor-3/comment-page-58/#comment-3079678

    There are multiple problems with nationalism:

    Nationalism is an ideology based on areas having largely ethnically/religiously/linguistically/culturally homogeneous populations and this has lead and continues to lead to violence, discriminations, ethnic cleansing, etc. in the large areas of the world with non-homogeneous populations.

    The nature of different sized nations inherently having different amounts of power means that creating many more smaller nation-states will create many more low-power nation-states heavily subject to the whims of nearby larger nations, whereas having them as part of larger more supra-national states gives them more power over the larger nations` decisions (in democracies).

    Dividing the world into nation-states gives more power to the opaque morass of international diplomacy where largely very privileged senior diplomats and ministers fight for competitive advantage for their state, rather than the common good. This privileges executive power over legislative and judicial power in a manner harmful to democracy and the rule of law and slows progress in the law, particularly in areas best regulated at a level higher than nations (stopping climate change, arms control, international trade regulation, etc.).

  26. 12:00amSIMON BENSON

    Labor’s 45 per cent emissions-­reduction target would push electricity prices 50 per cent higher, independent modelling finds.


    A senior Labor MP has declared it would be ‘a good thing’ if the thermal coal sector collapsed.


    After five years of unity on leadership, Labor is dividing on policy three months from the election.

    12:00amBEN PACKHAM

    Senior Labor frontbenchers have contradicted Bill Shorten over his acceptance of Christmas Island as a refugee treatment centre.

    You can tell there must be a Newspoll due at the weekend with these Oz headlines online.

    Also the Oz just declared itself the heads of the fear campaign for this election with these stories.

  27. I saw this tonight…

    Wot? No Fish!!

    At the State Theatre…on from 19-24 Feb….beautiful story from real life in the Jewish East End of London, reaching from the 20s to the 80s last century. It’s beautifully conceived, depicted, told….full of humanity and understanding….joyous.

    If anyone in Perth wants a night out…I really recommend it.

  28. briefly @ #2884 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 – 9:50 pm

    It’s a very tall order.

    It is indeed.

    But Brexit is a catastrophe in waiting.

    And none of it can be blamed on Corbyn, or the people in economically depressed areas who gained no benefit from EU membership and voted to Leave. Until something is done to alleviate their suffering, they’re going to keep voting Leave. No elitist Westminster wally is going to gain their support, no matter what their party affiliation is. As far as Brexit causing them untold economic pain, their lives are already at rock bottom so the difference will be unnoticeable.

    Anything is possible.

    Except the impossible.

  29. it’s extraordinary that discussins about the Universe made no references to Bush, Clnton, Obama…. or some other pregnant entity etc

  30. Dan…the dynamics are that neither the Tories nor Labour are attempting to serve the Remainer constituencies, who by now exceed the Leavers in number.

    Any political grouping that can gain their support will win power and keep it. This part of the electorate has been abandoned. This cannot last.

    The Independents have a shot at it. I wish them well. Brexit is absolutely idiotic. They have a month to change history. Good luck to them.

  31. Questions’

    Liberal (small “L”) wankery is far better than nationalism. A short vid if you have the time. Stephen Fry on Brexit.

    I think we have different understandings of natioanlasismd.

    As i have said before to me nationalism = self determination

  32. I’m fine with Brexit being discussed, for now, although a time might yet arrive when I feel something needs to be done. But I’m not fine with people discussing Israel, as a) it genuinely is of only the most tangential relevance to this blog’s subject matter, and b) a forum that has people on it who are as nakedly anti-Semitic as DareToTread can’t be trusted with the subject.

  33. The Leave voters in depressed parts of the UK economy are mistaken to think that they have derived no benefits from EU membership. They are totally mistaken. And they are even more mistaken when they blame the EU for the policies of Thatcher, who set out to destroy the Victorian/Edwardian economy for political reasons.

    Nonetheless, they do not see it that way. They have voted to further entrench their misfortunes.

    This should not mean the entire population should also enter into destitution against their will.

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