Resolve Strategic: Coalition 38, Labor 33, Greens 12

An extensive look at the debut entry for what promises to be a monthly federal polling series from the Age/Herald.

The Age/Herald have published their first poll of federal voting intention since the 2019 election, dispensing with the services of Ipsos (who happened to be the least wrong pollster at the election) and enlisting Resolve Strategic, which is run by Jim Reed, who once worked for Coalition pollsters Crosby Textor. As national political editor Tory Maguire explains, the polling failure of the last election has inspired the pollster and its publisher to cast around for a fresh approach, the salient feature of which is not telling us straight what the two-party preferred is.

We do get primary votes though, and they are quite a bit different from Newspoll’s, with the Coalition on 38% rather than 40% and Labor on 33% rather than 38%. This means higher scores for minor parties, which happens to replicate a peculiarity of Ipsos. The Greens are on 12% compared with Newspoll’s 11%, but most striking is a 6% reading for One Nation compared with 2% from Newspoll. The latter result is, hopefully, a teething problem: it approximates the party’s 5.4% Senate vote in 2019, but most assuredly would not be matched in the House of Representatives since the party contests few seats there. It also seems highly unlikely that One Nation would be bearing up so well given its recent performance at state elections, with its share of the upper house vote in Western Australia having crashed from 8.2% to 1.5%.

Applying preference flows from 2019, this lands pretty much bang on 50-50 nationally, with the Coalition leading 53.4-46.6 in New South Wales (a 1.6% swing to the Coalition) and 54.3-45.7 in Queensland (a 4.1% swing to Labor), but trailing 53.8-46.2 in Victoria (a 0.7% swing to Labor) and 52.4-47.6 in Western Australia (an 8.0% swing to Labor). The New South Wales result is more favourable for the Coalition than the recent quarterly breakdown in Newspoll, which had it at 50-50, but the results for the other three states are about the same. Distinctions by gender are slight in the case of voting intention, except that the Greens are three points higher among women and One Nation are two points lower, and confounding in the case of personal ratings: Scott Morrison’s net approval is four points stronger among women than men, while Anthony Albanese’s is five points weaker.

Personal ratings are measured on a four-point scale of very good, good, poor and very poor, which is similar to Essential Research but different from Newspoll’s straightforward satisfied and unsatisfied responses. Morrison registers a combined good rating of 50% and a poor rating of 38%, a net rating of plus 12% that compares with plus 17% from a recent Essential poll and plus 15% from a not-so-recent Newspoll. Anthony Albanese scores 35% good and 41% poor, for a minus 6% rating that compares with plus 5% from Essential and plus 2% from Newspoll. Morrison is credited with a 47-25 lead as preferred prime minister, compared with 47-28 in Essential and 52-32 in Newspoll.

The poll wins points for transparency, at least by Australian standards, in providing breakdowns by state (or at least, the four biggest states), gender and age cohort. If I’m reading the small print correctly, the New South Wales and Victoria breakdowns will be published as a two-month rolling average, combining the current and previous poll. The idea seems to be that these states will have results with sample sizes robust enough to allow the Age/Herald to analyse them with a straight face: readers who choose to probe deeper into the breakdowns will be advised to exercise their own caution. (UPDATE: It seems I’ve read this wrong, and that there will actually be state voting intention results published every two months, based on the combination of two monthly polling samples). However, the results as published still leave a fair bit missing, as the poll is also weighted for education and income (and the survey includes a question on religion), for which breakdowns are not provided. There is also the rather glaring absence of any detail on field work dates: we are told only that the survey was conducted “in April”.

One of two accompanying reports by David Crowe relates the following detail absent from the published numbers:

Support for the Coalition in primary vote terms has fallen since the last election among voters who described themselves as Christian, dropping from 56 to 49 per cent. While support for Labor among this group rose from 28 to 29 per cent, the change was within the margin of error. In a more significant shift, the same cohort increased its support for independents and minor parties from 15 to 22 per cent. The Coalition has lost ground among voters across the board since the last election, with its primary vote slipping from 41 to 38 per cent, but the shift was strongest among immigrants and people from “non-Anglo-Saxon” backgrounds. Immigrants have reduced their support for the Coalition from 48 to 40 per cent since the election, while increasing their primary vote for Labor from 30 to 35 per cent. Those from “non-Anglo” backgrounds reduced their support for the Coalition from 44 to 35 per cent, while increasing their support for Labor from 31 to 36 per cent.

The other tells us the following:

The swing against the Coalition was spread evenly across most demographic groups but was more pronounced among those on higher incomes, with support falling from 49 to 43 per cent among those earning more than $100,000 a year. Labor gained support from the same workers, with its primary vote rising from 29 to 33 per cent.

There are further attitudinal results available in a nicely laid out results display page, including the finding that 44% expect the Coalition to win the next election compared with 28% for Labor. The display includes, under “comments”, sampling of qualitative responses that aim for an impressionistic view of why the ratings for each question are what they are. The poll was conducted by phone and online from a sample of 2000, compared with the Newspoll norm of around 1500. However, the phone sample of 400 appears to be a one-off of this “baseline survey”: it seems that in future the series will be a monthly online poll from a sample of 1600.

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.

2,090 comments on “Resolve Strategic: Coalition 38, Labor 33, Greens 12”

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  1. So the totalitarian despot just made some more conquests in the South China Sea.

    Will the Xi Fan Club, well represented on Bludger, cheer and clap this latest example of successful Chinese imperialism?

    Xi’s new gains will be militarized. I am 100% certain that the anti-war, anti-armament Greens will be spewing their guts out about this horrendous development for at least the next week.

    In terms of the bigger picture there are two trends. Both trends are what might be called a worry:

    The first is that democracies like New Zealand and the Philippines are, each in their own ways, being trashed.

    The second is that the US is sending mixed signals to China about what the US will, or won’t, do in relation to Chinese aggression.

  2. I would like to see a greater focus on the suffering of those whose lives were made a misery by soldiers returning with PTSD.

    After the two world world wars, in particular, hundreds of thousands of kids suffered the indirect impact of wars. In many cases this suffering lasted a life time.

  3. guytaur says Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Voter turnout for the GOP in 2022 is going to be interesting. Trump is not on the ballot.

    Yep. There seems to be a large group of Americans that don’t normally vote, but turned out to vote for Trump. They’re also not easily polled. So, polls were pretty accurate in 2018 and in the January Senate Georgia runoffs, but significantly underestimated the Republican vote in 2016 and 2020 when Trump was on the ticket.

    One other point, polls always show progressive parties doing better amongst the young, and conservative or reactionary parties doing better amongst older voters. Then we always see predictions that demographic changes mean progressive parties have the future locked up. Yet, it never happens. While it’s true that today’s older conservative voters do die off, they’re replaced by aging former progressives. Many of us buck the trend, but not enough. Remember, many of today’s oldies were once baby boomers, a generation that certainly weren’t conservative in their youth.

  4. I’m just waiting for Earlwood to pop in and say how great it is that Duterte capitulated to the Chinese maritime aggression. Duterte is all for a quiet life and so is Earlwood, after all.

  5. The thing that Democrats do have in their favour going into 2022, is that the Economy will be booming and most Americans will have jobs again. Especially if the Infrastructure plan becomes a reality.

  6. Morrison should be asked straght out if he is aware of the existence of a manufacturing, testing and delivery schedule for the CSL’s Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

  7. Is there a reason why the coaltition appoint Army folks as Governor General?
    Their appointment of Hollingsworth was a cracker! That would have scared them back to the men of war.

  8. Oakeshott Country says Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Is there a reason why the coaltition appoint Army folks as Governor General?

    They’ve been more successful in the role than former Archbishops.

  9. It is hard to believe that someone like General Whatshisname would be elected as President of the Australian Federal Republic either by 2/3rds of a joint sitting or popular vote

  10. Oakeshott Country says:
    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:11 pm
    Is there a reason why the coaltition appoint Army folks as Governor General?

    The LNP like to imagine they represent the call of and to authority. The military also embody authority, as does the office of the G-G. By insinuation, the LNP try to legitimise themselves. They are imposters, but then, that is exactly why they need to decorate themselves with the dignity and gravity of others.


    My guess would be they are seen as a reliable choice, not offensive to anyone the Coalition wants to avoid offending (most of the people who don`t like the idea are both non-Coalition voting and anti-monarchy and therefore not a fan of the Coalition office of Governor-General anyway, so are neither a loss to the Coalition nor likely to focus on the choice of GG specifically), respected by Coalition and many undecided voters, not lawyers/judges, not Archbishops (that did not go well when they tried it) and appropriate for whom the command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in as the Queen’s representative (see section 68 of the Constitution).

  12. I’ve just been listening to Pod Save America and one of them made the very interesting point that, because people like that spend most of their time ensconced in their information bubble they actually believe what they say. So when people from outside their bubble challenge them and their beliefs they get very indignant and almost abusive towards anyone who contradicts them. Also, politicians especially who live like that just behave like it is the truth, when people like you and me know that they are delusional.

    No-one else here except C@tmomma would be game enough to write the above words so utterly un-selfconsciously.

  13. I don’t know if having a general as the “commander in chief” is such a good thing. The guys who hold the guns might confuse a relic of our colonial past with someone with authority

  14. OC

    The drive way ANZAC stuff from the first Covid lockdown, fairly popular this time last year, was generally absent this am.

    There was plenty in and around the footy.
    Other than that, I would not really know.

  15. Oakeshott Country
    It does feel toned down this year. I suppose The Plague has made it a bit hard to crank up the Anzackery Wurlitzer. Yaaay.

  16. Interesting. So in a Commonwealth military context the only people who should be putting “hand on heart” are those with medals to conceal at the appropriate time as a mark of respect.

  17. Is there a reason why the coaltition appoint Army folks as Governor General?

    Because they are pretty reliably right-wing.

  18. I wonder what this is about?

    Four Corners turns screws on PM, Fletcher

    Ita Buttrose should prepare for another angry letter from the Communications Minister when he learns that Four Corners is yet again training its eye on the Morrison government.

    (Headline in Murdoch’s Oz)

  19. What about the people who march wearing their great-grandfather’s medals – should they cover them, or people who can’t find their great-grandfather’s medals (they were in the drawer the last time they looked)

    I recently helped my stepson find his great-grandfather’s WWI record. He receives a dishonourable discharge, in 2 senses of the term

  20. Eunoe @ #4377 Sunday, April 25th, 2021 – 6:04 pm

    Cud Chewer

    Concur with each of your points. It is a broad overview article notable for glancing on topics other Australian MSM are not, but still not examining or assessing them in any depth (e.g. spelling out the efficacy implications of Australia’s current vaccine selection; the impending necessity for vaccinating Australian children and adolescents, etc.).

    As you note too, the article ignores certain pertinent issues altogether. For me, they include variant implications by vaccine and the ramifications of vaccinating with AZ relative to herd immunity (including relative to Australia’s original 80% AZ – 20% Pfizer strategy), etc.

    As an aside, it has been interesting to witness over the past eight or nine months the clear reluctance by The Guardian to spell things out relative to COVID vaccines. Some of its hesitancy may be grounded in a caution given the fluidity of the science. Certainly it will not want to leave itself open to claims of promoting vaccine hesitancy (although it could pro forma expressly state that it was not doing so).

    Unfortunately, the extent of the self-censoring has devolved into an ongoing, oblique and insipid ‘read between the lines’ approach. The Guardian – nor other Australian MSM – isn’t directly confronting vaccine (as opposed to vaccination and vaccination rollout) issues, much less the Morrison Government for the seminal pandemic response decisions it has been making.

    You’re probably aware of each, but besides following @EricTopol (U.S.), @hildabast [Hilda Bastian] (Aust) and @rajah_mich [Michelle Ananda-Rajah] (Aust), amongst others, @YouAreLobbyLud [David Berger] (Aust) is of interest at the moment in my continuing quest to gain more nuanced vaccine and COVID response information. U.S. media (NYT, WashPost, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair) is now far less cowed than our own, but offers little on AZ implications as the U.S. hasn’t approved it.


    For some informed comment from some who are actually involved in clinical science (rather than political horse racing), I would recommend the TGA/ATAGI alert of 23 April. .

    Michelle is much less flakey that David Burger – whose self-regard & conscious contrarianism often usually exceeds his expertise.

  21. I believe that family members may wear the medals on the right side of the body.

    There would be various suggestions about where to put, or about how to use, any DD papers.

  22. Wading back into the aerosolisation of COVID-19 swamp. I think this paper needs sharing. Those that wanted some maths may be interested in this quite recent (10 days old) paper in PNAS:

    They posit that aerosols are the dominant mode of transmission. But then I will not state my opinion as I might yet again be called a sock puppet by OC 🙂


    There is a good case for replacing section 68, via a referendum, with something more democratic. A Kerrmander-in-Chief is not the best idea. Unfortunately the presidentialists have captured the vast majority of demand for reform of the monarchical parts of the constitution for their campaign for an Australian president, who would probably still be commander-in-chief.

  24. I doubt anyone under the age of 80 (with the exception of the postal union) would care if Aussie Post was privatised.

    Some estimates are that post will be finished within 3 years. The final nail in the coffin is when the Commonwealth Government stops posting correspondence – which has to be on the cards.

    Equity could probably be addressed by giving poor people credits to use at a private provider (for a cheaper more effective service).

  25. Thanks BK.

    There is something wrong when a government feels free to write threatening letters to an independent government owned broadcaster whenever it produces content that is critical of the government.

  26. bc @ #2082 Sunday, April 25th, 2021 – 6:40 pm

    While it’s true that today’s older conservative voters do die off, they’re replaced by aging former progressives.

    A cohort tends to rot as it gets older. A number (still a relatively small number) of people I grew up with have decided that the best measure of civil liberty/freedom is how large of a gun you can buy, or that the only reason their small business struggles is because of taxes, and have gone conservative (or, in very rare cases, full-blown Trumpy).

  27. Lars Von Trier,

    I care about AusPost being privatised. I’m under 80.

    Here’s why I care: I think its important that the government retains the ability to engage in service delivery. It’s actually what people want the most from government and a government business entity is able to retain the skills and government mindset whilst also pursuing more aggressive corporate strategies.

    That Post, like the 2 BOM super computers are actually assets of strategic importance to Australia. Putting the Post and it’s infrastructure in corporate hands will only be a profit shift. We as a nation cannot be put in a position were falling profits lead to falling services as this will just be a death spiral.

    Labor shoulda/could be smart and send everyone in a nationals electorate a letter that says, this Envelope was delivered by Australia POST. The LNP want to make you pay more to get a message to and from the farm gate. etc etc

    Anyway it’s good to have a nationally owned infrastructure that sends things around. If you want a private version, let that private industry build it. If they havn’t it’s because it takes a ton of time and money and this country doesn’t have any business people with grit for that. They mostly have rent seekers.

  28. imacca @ #2030 Sunday, April 25th, 2021 – 7:44 pm

    Interesting. So in a Commonwealth military context the only people who should be putting “hand on heart” are those with medals to conceal at the appropriate time as a mark of respect.

    Isn’t it hand covering medals in a Brit and Commonwealth context – when approaching the Cenotaph.

    Hand on heart is a US thing & quite different – it seems to get a run for National Anthem & many other ‘things’.

    The US hand on Heart is creeping in here out of ignorance.

  29. Oakeshott Country @ #2035 Sunday, April 25th, 2021 – 7:53 pm

    What about the people who march wearing their great-grandfather’s medals – should they cover them, or people who can’t find their great-grandfather’s medals (they were in the drawer the last time they looked)

    I recently helped my stepson find his great-grandfather’s WWI record. He receives a dishonourable discharge, in 2 senses of the term

    I’m against them wearing them at all. The Day & march is supposed to be about those who served. Once they are dead the service should be modified not turned into a circus.

    Your WW1 soldier – on leave in Cairo ?

  30. How much post do you send or receive south?

    We reached peak post in 2009 – its all downhill from here. Keeping the post is like keeping Cobb&Co – technological change has killed it.

  31. Bushfire in Northern Ireland – not quite what one associates with the emerald isle.

    In pictures: Mourne Mountains gorse fire engulfs the slopes of Slieve Donard

    Firefighters are continuing to tackle a fierce blaze on steep slopes Slieve Donard.
    The NI Fire and Rescue Service has declared the fire on the Mourne Mountains in County Down a “major incident”.
    Scenes unfolding in the area of outstanding natural beauty have been described as “deeply distressing”.

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