Newspoll quarterly breakdowns: January to March

Big movement to Labor in the smaller states in the latest Newspoll breakdowns, but nothing of what might have been expected on gender.

My assertion in the previous post that we faced a dry spell on the polling front hadn’t reckoned on Newspoll’s quarterly breakdowns, published today in The Australian. These combine the four Newspoll surveys conducted this year into a super-poll featuring various breakdowns from credible sample sizes (though I’d note that nothing seems to have come of talk that new industry standards would require that such breakdowns be provided in each poll individually, in a new spirit of transparency following the great pollster failure of 2019).

The latest numbers offer some particularly interesting insights into where the Coalition has been losing support over recent months. Whereas things have been reasonably stable in New South Wales (now 50-50 after the Coalition led 51-49 in the last quarter of 2020) and Victoria (where Labor’s lead narrows from 55-45 to 53-47), there have been six-point shifts in Labor’s favour in Western Australia (where the Coalition’s 53-47 lead last time has been reversed) and South Australia (51-49 to the Coalition last time, 55-45 to Labor this time). Labor has also closed the gap in Queensland from 57-43 to 53-47.

It should be noted here that the small state sample sizes are relatively modest, at 628 for WA and 517 for SA, implying error margins of around 4%, compared with around 2.5% for the larger states. I also observed, back in the days when there was enough state-level data for such things to be observable, that state election blowouts had a way of feeding into federal polling over the short term, which may be a factor in the poll crediting Labor with a better result than it has managed at a federal election in WA since 1983.

The gender breakdowns notably fail to play to the script: Labor is credited with 51-49 leads among both men and women, which represents a four-point movement to Labor among men and no change among women. There is also nothing remarkable to note in Scott Morrison’s personal ratings, with deteriorations of 7% in his net rating among men and 8% among women.

Further results suggest the government has lost support more among the young (Labor’s lead is out from 61-39 to 64-36 among those aged 18 to 34, while the Coalition holds a steady 62-38 lead among those 65 and over), middle income earners (a three-point movement to Labor in the $50,000 to $100,000 cohort and four-point movement in $100,000 to $150,000, compared with no change for $50,000 and below and a two-point increase for the Coalition among those on $150,000 and over), non-English speakers (a four-point decline compared with one point for English speakers) and those with trade qualifications (a four-point movement compared with none among the university educated and one point among those without qualifications).

You can find the full results, at least on voting intention, in the poll data feature on BludgerTrack, where you can navigate your way through tabs for each of the breakdowns Newspoll provides for a full display of the results throughout the current term. Restoring a permanent link to all this through my sidebar is part of the ever-lengthening list of things I need to get around to.

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.

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