The Courier-Mail has results from a Queensland-only YouGov Galaxy poll of 848 respondents, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, which shows the Coalition with a lead in the state of 51-49. This represents a 3% swing to Labor off the 2016 election result, but is an improvement for the Coalition from the 50-50 result at the last such poll in February. On the primary vote, the Coalition are up three to 38%, Labor is down one to 33%, the Greens and One Nation are both up a point to 9%, and the United Australia Party is on an anaemic 4%.
Also featured are gender breakdowns that have excited the Courier-Mail, but to my eye look rather implausible in having the Coalition primary vote six points higher among women than men. Among men, the result is 50-50, from primary votes of Coalition 35%, Labor 32%, Greens 10%, One Nation 9% and United Australia Party 6%; among women, the Coalition leads 52-48, from primary votes of Coalition 41%, Labor 34%, Greens 8%, One Nation 8% and United Australia Party 4%.
Latest calling of the horse race:
• In her column in today’s Weekend AFR, Laura Tingle says there has been “the sound of something snapping in the federal election this week”. Apparently drawing on Liberal sources in New South Wales, Tingle relates a feeling that “Tony Abbott is gone in Warringah”; that Gilmore and Reid “seem lost”, that Lindsay is no longer looking quite so flash either; that Cowper and Farrer might go independent; and that “senior cabinet ministers are panicking and drawing in resources to protect their own seats”.
• However, no such snapping noise has reached the collective ear of News Corp, whose papers today offer a flurry of bullish assessments for the Coalition. According to Sharri Markson in the Daily Telegraph, the Liberals are likely to gain Wentworth, Lindsay, Indi and Herbert; Labor-held Dobell, Solomon, Cowan, Bass and Braddon are “in contention”; and Corangamite and Gilmore are, “at this point”, likely to stay with the Liberals. Only Chisholm and Dunkley are conceded, although there is some prospect of Labor winning La Trobe, Swan and Reid, and independents winning Cowper and Warringah. However, this appears to be entirely based on an assessment related to Markson by Scott Morrison, who might well be suspected of gilding the lily.
• Dennis Shanahan in The Australian also discerns “an almost Trumpian path, difficult and unacknowledged, for Morrison to be re-elected if everything falls his way”. Prospective Labor gains in Queensland “are slipping away and giving Morrison a chance of a net gain”; there is a “likelihood” Labor will lose Solomon; “senior Liberals believe they will hold and even add to the Coalition total” in Western Australia; there is “obviously a big chance for the Coalition to win back Bass and Braddon”, and Labor even fears ousted Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan could pull off a Pauline Hanson in Lyons; while in New South Wales, “expected Labor gains may not materialise” (though it is acknowledged independents may win Cowper and Farrer). That leaves Labor heavily reliant on a brace of gains in Victoria, of which only Chisholm and Dunkley are bolted down, and where they are threatened in Macnamara by the Liberals as well as the Greens.
• The Australian also reports today that, contra Laura Tingle, “Tony Abbott’s prospects of surviving a challenge from independent candidate Zali Steggall appear to have improved, according to internal Liberal Party polling that shows him level at 50-50”.
• In the commentary accompanying the YouGov Galaxy poll, Renee Veillaris of the Courier-Mail reports that “LNP insiders believe they may lose just one seat – Flynn – but pick up Herbert”; that Labor is “retreating from key Queensland marginal seats that they believed they could win just weeks ago” (although Bill Shorten did visit Leichhardt yesterday and Petrie the day before, and Scott Morrison was in Capricornia yesterday); and that incumbency effects are likely to cancel out the advantage to Labor recorded by the poll.
• The last of these viewpoints, at least, is not restricted to News Corp, with Amy Remeikis of The Guardian assessing that Queensland is “looking like a zero-sum game for both major parties”. Labor-held Herbert and Liberal-held Leichhardt are rated as even money, and while Flynn and Brisbane are acknowledged as further possibilities for Labor, the Liberals are thought to have their nose in front in Petrie.
Further reading for today is, as ever, provided by the Seat du jour post below this one, relating to the key Queensland seat of Herbert.