The Australian reports on two private polls of Eden-Monaro with contrary results to last week’s mystery internal polling related on Sky News, which showed the Liberals with a comfortable lead. A poll conducted by the Australia Institute reportedly has Labor leading 53-47, with reported primary votes of Labor 36.5%, Liberal 29.9%, Nationals 6.1%, Greens 8.1% and Shooters 6.5% – it’s unclear if the 12.9% balance includes an undecided component. The sample size was 643, with no field work dates provided. Labor was also credited with a 52-48 lead in a uComms robopoll the Australian Forest Products Association, but the only primary votes provided are for the smaller parties (Nationals 6.7%, Greens 6.3%, Shooters 3.6%). The poll was conducted Tuesday from a sample of 816.
UPDATE: The poll was conducted bu uComms, like the one discussed below – the undecided rate was 8.1%. The 53-47 result was based on 2019 preferneces; a separate respondent-allocated result had it at 54-46. Full results here.
The report in The Australian leans hard on the notion that Shooters Fishers and Farmers’ decision to put Labor ahead of the Coalition on its how-to-vote card is set to hand the seat to Labor, but last year’s federal election results suggests this overstates their impact. The party run eight lower house candidates across three states, whose branches jumped different ways on preferences. In the one seat the party contested in New South Wales, Calare, preferences went to Labor ahead of the Coalition, maintaining a habit the state branch first acquired at the March state election. However, less than half of the party’s voters took the advice, with preferences splitting 55.0-45.0 in favour of the Nationals.
In Western Australia, where Shooters directed voters to put Coalition candidates ahead of Labor, the split in favour of the Liberals was actually even weaker in the suburban seats of Burt (54.4-45.6) and Cowan (52.3-47.7), and only moderately stronger in Forrest (62.3-37.7), Pearce (59.6-40.4) and Hasluck (63.3-36.7). Two of the strongest flows to the Coalition were in the Victorian seats the party contested (67.6-32.4 in Mallee, 62.8-37.2 in Gippsland), where voters were advised to make up their own minds — probably reflecting the fact that these were rural seats traditionlly dominated by the Nationals. On even the most generous reading, Shooters preferences might make one point of difference to the 53-47 headline from the Australia Institute, and not even that much from the uComms poll, which recorded only weak primary vote support for the party.