Morgan: 54.5-45.5 to Labor

Labor maintains its strong lead in the latest Roy Morgan federal poll, while EMRS finds the state Liberals still well on top in Tasmania.

Roy Morgan published its regular fortnightly (for so it now seems) federal voting intention poll on Wednesday, which recorded an incremental improvement for Labor on their already strong previous result. Labor was credited with a lead of 54.5-45.5 on two-party preferred, out from 54-46 last time, from primary votes of Coalition 37.5% (steady), Labor 38.5% (up one), Greens 11.5% (down one) and One Nation 3% (down half).

Two-party state breakdowns are included as usual, showing Labor leading in New South Wales with 53% (a swing of about 5% compared with the 2019 election, and a gain of one point since the previous poll), in Victoria with 59.5% (a swing of about 6.5%, and a loss of half a point), in Western Australia with 51% (a swing of about 6.5%, and a loss of three-and-a-half points), in South Australia with 57.5% (a swing of about 9%, and a gain of three points) and in Tasmania with 63.5% (a swing of about 7.5%, and a gain of six-and-a-half points. The Coalition’s only lead is in Queensland with 53.5%, a gain of 1.5% since the previous poll but a swing to Labor of around 5% compared with 2019.

The poll was conducted over the past two weekends from a sample of 2735. Assuming this was divided between the states in proportion to population, sub-samples would have ranged from nearly 900 in New South Wales to less than 100 in Tasmania.

Speaking of Tasmania, the first EMRS poll of voting intention in that state since the May election was published yesterday, although it does not capture the impact of the latest developments in the David O’Byrne saga, having been conducted from August 7 to 9. The result is almost identical to that of the election, with the Liberals on 49% (48.7% at the election), Labor on 28% (28.2%) and the Greens on 13% (12.4%). Newly restored Labor leader Rebecca White trails Peter Gutwein 59-29 as preferred premier, compared with 61-26 in the pre-election poll in February. The poll was conducted by phone from a sample of 1000.

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.

1,848 comments on “Morgan: 54.5-45.5 to Labor”

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  1. jt1983

    “I think we’ll know pretty soon whose modelling is correct.”

    By next weekend we will know if Gladys had amazingly good advice, or is talking shit.

  2. I think some haven’t stopped to think about what a “health response” actually entails.

    The key health responses to the pandemic have all revolved around people’s expectations and behaviour (and that includes vaccinations, even though they are a technological solution, refer to “vaccine hesitancy”). Lockdowns, masks, social distancing, quarantines, contact tracing, whatever. All of them depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on community expectations and behaviour.

    Expectations and behaviour are what the success or failure of Morrison’s latest gambit relies on manipulating and pre-empting, ahead of any health response that the states will decide on as the situation evolves.

    That’s the problem with how he’s going about things. As “effective” as it may turn out to be politically, it is potentially quite destructive to the implementation of any health response, if they go against expectations and discourage adoption.

  3. Expat
    Can you allow the possibility that his pitch has the capacity to resonate with more than only his base?

    The Liberals are trailing in the public polling and Liberal members that i talk too are not confident because they know many conservative voters are angry now if Morrison doesn’t deliver he can try blaming the states but that wont work in WA and probably not in Queensland and Morrison has narrowed the Liberal base and needs what is left of that base to stick with him or he is gone.

  4. Cud “His pitch means nothing if he doesn’t deliver and he cannot deliver before November”

    why November? because that is when the election definitely is????

    his pitch matters when it comes to the election and where we are at going into that, i cite November because that is broadly when it is expected that vax supply is no longer the issue relative to demand

  5. Expat

    The swing voters also comprise a fair number of people who get the fact that this wouldn’t have happened if Scomo had done his job and also a fair number of people who care about their kids. Yes of course there is a sizeable chunk of the community who are mindless, selfish prats and with whom this talk of freedom resonates. The problem is, again, that these people aren’t going to be happy with more trinkets being thrown at them by Gladys. They’re actually the ones who are going to get mad at vaccine passports and Scomo will be wedged between wanting to please them and what Gladys actually does.

  6. The cold reality is Morrison’s only plays are:
    1. Push fear v freedom and try to make the state Labor premiers the bad guys – definite time limit on that.
    2. Wait and try to claim credit in the event things don’t turn to shit etc.

    While dealing with nasty Budget/MYEFO numbers, Glasgow, etc etc. Let alone any appreciable deterioration in the situation nationally.

  7. Mexicanbeemer @ #1603 Sunday, September 5th, 2021 – 5:42 pm

    Expat
    Can you allow the possibility that his pitch has the capacity to resonate with more than only his base?

    The Liberals are trailing in the public polling and Liberal members that i talk too are not confident because they know many conservative voters are angry now if Morrison doesn’t deliver he can try blaming the states but that wont work in WA and probably not in Queensland and Morrison has narrowed the Liberal base and needs what is left of that base to stick with him or he is gone.

    Blaming the states won’t work in Tassie – and Bass is held with a very narrow margin

  8. Who were the Labor partisans here who insisted that no action on coal was needed because the coal market was already in decline?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-09-05/resurgent-coal-market-hits-new-high/100431418

    Soaring demand for electricity in China and India has put a rocket under the coal market with prices for the fossil fuel hitting a record high despite efforts to de-carbonise the global economy.

    If you want to see genuine action on climate change, the only way to guarantee it is to vote (1) independents or minor parties. Then by all means give your subsequent preference to whichever “party of government” you prefer.

  9. MB,

    if held today he would lose an election, i’m pretty sure we would all agree on that.

    but the election will be held 6+ months from now, and a lot is going to be different then than today

    his pitch at that time, depending on facts on the ground and depending on what alternative is presented, may do a bit better than you think. There are of course circumstances where he just has no chance i agree, but i imagine any politician running for reelection anywhere and for any party is thinking about how to play it at the time… and projecting backwards to now in terms of setting it up.

    that is what he is doing imho. and he is getting a pretty clear run at owning the discussion out there in voter land (not here in politics tragic land, conceded)

    we shall indeed see how it works out for everyone

  10. Expat

    The vax. Will still be an issue ,because those of us that were vaxed early will be required to be having their booster shoots as per Israeli people now.

    And when are those booster shoots arriving for us next year at some point in time ,

  11. Why do people come here to campaign? lol

    Might be one of the most pointless exercises undertaken in this place.

    We know where we stand, stubbornly so. Labor, Lib, Troll, TreeTory, Green etc etc. No one here is going to change people’s minds, let alone votes, lol.

    @EF – one thing I’ll agree with you on … kind of.

    Morrison is staking out territory, that may or may not work out for him, but as I suggested earlier, it’s the only option he’s got to own a space and differentiate himself (while at the same time having to spin the conseuqences of significant failures).

    Morrison’s strategy as you are indicating, relies on your optimsitc view of where things might sit in six months, with all of those other issues I noted. Even then, I wouldn’t be totally confident people will be allowed or forget or forgive.

  12. “why November? because that is when the election definitely is????”

    I’m just responding to the general conversation about an early election, not specifically you.
    Of course, if the election comes in March or May then things will get far worse for Scomo for a number of reasons. Think a summer season full of horror stories regarding hospitals and people who don’t have covid suffering as a result of a weakened health care system.

  13. EF

    then all his talk of alleged freedom days shouldnt bother anyone because he is totally irrelevant? Does he have influence or not?

    You’re mixing up different groups of people, different points in time, and political and health repercussions. There’s no contradiction here.

    He *does* have (potential) influence over some (many?) people’s expectations and behaviour, now and in the future (well at least until he’s voted out :P). It is because he has that influence that some of us (a different group) are bothered by his adoption of harmful strategies that manipulate those expectations and behaviour.

    Naturally I hope he’s unsuccessful. There’s no contradiction here either, because it’s not me that’s always raising “political” effectiveness, that’s you. You say he’s politically effective. I say he *might* be, in the *future*, if he’s allowed to get away with it in the *present*. I *hope* he won’t be, but in any case, I have always been talking about the effectiveness of our health response (dependent as it is on people’s expectations and behaviour) and not political effectiveness.

  14. Mrmoney

    “The vax. Will still be an issue ,because those of us that were vaxed early will be required to be having their booster shoots as per Israeli people now.”

    Correct. Vaccine supply will cease to be an issue around November. At that point Scomo will take the blame for failing to approve boosters sooner. This affects me personally as my 2nd shot was in June.

  15. I think Mossison will be weighing up his options – November/March/May or split. The LNP, associated media, like-minded politicans (one nation/united Aust) and business are and will continue to run with what they can in support and if anything resonates, and polls/focus group become more favourable, then Morrison will go when the outcome is best for him. As much as I wouldn’t mind Morrison bringing forward an election to November – I don’t think he will.

  16. “Yes of course there is a sizeable chunk of the community who are mindless, selfish prats and with whom this talk of freedom resonates”

    I hope the ALP dont campaign with a similar arrogant superiority. They will get annihilated.

  17. Expat

    “but the election will be held 6+ months from now, and a lot is going to be different then than today”

    Again, you underestimate the likelyhood of the intervening months being a never-ending shitshow/trainwreck/clusterfuck. Take your pick.

  18. I think some Bludgers are putting a lot of faith into the sense, intelligence and awareness of the average voter, which I fear is a mistake. The average voter is not particularly invested in the minutiae of politics like we all are – those who frequent sites like this one are a decided minority of voters. I am reminded of two famous quotes on this topic: Churchill’s aphorism that the best advertisement against democracy was spending five minutes with the average voter, and Adlai Stevenson’s response to the woman who suggested that he’s won the vote of “every thinking American” – “but, ma’am, I need a majority!”

    The truth is that most voters don’t vote on policy. They vote for a particular party because they always have, or if they are a genuine swinging voter, they vote on “the vibe” – and there are only two vibes, “kick the bastards out”, or “not yet”. They also tend to vote on what might be coming, rather than what’s already happened – who is best placed to lead us forward from now? If SloMo can craft a dichotomy where he can promise a bright future with no Covid and no lockdowns, no matter how implausible that promise is, he is well-placed to get re-elected, particularly if he can paint Labor as the party of lockdowns in the process.

    Any such victory would be entirely undeserved, but Expat and others are quite right in pointing to this eventuality being entirely possible.

  19. Expat

    You don’t like me being honest about the fact that a certain proportion of the community are mindless, selfish prats with no awareness of how living in a society benefits them. Too bad. I’m me. The ALP is something else. Your partisanship is showing.

  20. I’ll put up by hand for a November election, mostly because I want one to happen, and secondly that bushfire smoke and a simmering delta outbreak are not going to compliment each other well.

    I worry about Albo’s ability to land a punch on Scomo, noting that most of the punches that scomo has had have come form himself.
    I think SfM rat cunning is something to worry about. I also think Covid may have hit Dutts hard, he may not be up for a spill.

  21. ‘Hugoaugogo says:
    Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    I think some Bludgers are putting a lot of faith into the sense, intelligence and awareness of the average voter, which I fear is a mistake.
    ….’
    ________________________
    Given a referendum about whether Morrison should resign because he has blood on his hands, most voters would vote yes. Can’t say better than that.

  22. Hugo

    “The average voter is not particularly invested in the minutiae of politics”

    The average voter does, on the other hand, care when the TV news is full of horror stories about overloaded hospitals, shortage of nurses, doctors in isolation and people suffering because of delayed treatment.

    The average voter does, on the other hand, care about young children being in intensive care with covid.

    Yeah, most humans are fairly mindless, irrational, fear driven and all that. But they also have TVs.

  23. The pattern of Morrison’s decision making is to wait until the disaster happens and then to faff around with half arsed fixes while extolling his personal virtues.
    Clearly, we are looking at separate half Senate election combined by the very last date on which the House election happens.

  24. Hugo

    If SloMo can craft a dichotomy where he can promise a bright future with no Covid and no lockdowns, no matter how implausible that promise is, he is well-placed to get re-elected, particularly if he can paint Labor as the party of lockdowns in the process.

    Of course it’s possible, and it will also be (potentially) harmful to any health response implemented by the states.

    That’s why I am condemn him. For some reason EF has a lot of trouble saying “ok, I see you have good reason to condemn him” and instead thinks I should be praising him for his (not quite yet proven) demonstration of political nous.

  25. south/Taz

    I think at this point in time Scomo has a slightly better chance of winning in March/May than in November. Hence, please bring on November. I just hope Albo rises to the occasion. The virus will also help out.

  26. Cud Chewer @ #1626 Sunday, September 5th, 2021 – 6:05 pm

    Yeah, most humans are fairly mindless, irrational, fear driven and all that. But they also have TVs.

    And too many of those TVs are used to watch Sky News or other sources of outright misinformation.

    Which is, of course, why a “small target” strategy is ultimately likely to prove to be a serious mistake.

  27. Has anyone seen Expat Wormtongue (or Grimaaugogo) on the same page as Meher Baba? Similar voice, similar condescending pretense of reasonableness in defence of “diversity” while covering for the selfish arseholes who have wrecked the joint over the last 12 months.

    I work in the NSW Hospital System. I know the despair in my colleagues. November will make today look like a picnic. Both Scummo and the Gaslighter are cooked.

  28. But @hugo – by the logic of people voting on what is promised, over what has been… surely, that argues in favour of going sooner rather than later.

    By March/May – if the rosier projections occur, the business of recovery and difficult choices will already be underway. If we go like Israel, US, UK as see a surge in infections and hospitalisations, particularly over Christmas (which obviously, I hope isn’t the case) – then any post-vaccination good will could be well and truly gone.

    That’s why I can’t drop the idea of going early… even if 5 March is the date that makes the most logical sense to me. But my inner political strategist thinks 20/27 November has to be live, and I’d love a clear argument against this as a real option (even if not most likely), that doesn’t commence with, or involve, a personal slight.

  29. “Again, you underestimate the likelyhood of the intervening months being a never-ending shitshow/trainwreck/clusterfuck”

    yup… obviously if that is the case then there is no real winning incumbent strategy available except for his opponent proving to be a totally untrustworthy nonviable candidate

    guessing ScoMo is pitching his tent around a better scenario than that and leading a way forward that most Australians will want at that time (which he is cultivating now very deliberately)

  30. What’s so hard to understand about disliking our Prime Minister for attempting to manipulate public expectation and behaviour to his (potential) political advantage, but to the (potential) detriment of the health of the people of Australia?

    I think it’s gross. Whether or not it works out for him politically, I don’t like it that he would try it in the first place. He should be condemned for it.

  31. A November election would definitely be a courageous decision on the face of it but, and there is a but I can see why and it means a very cynical playing politics with Covid.

    Imagine Oct 2021, Vacc rates on or near targets (70%) but cases rising or maybe stable in NSW, Vic, resistance from Non Covid states to open until declines in cases or higher vaxx rates, economy looking sad, employment sad, business pressure to open or more support, budget awful….

    Slomo is already campaigning of the hopes and freedums and open up, such a narrative is already being written so no doubt would feature.

    If, there are still lockdowns and/or caution opening (ie WA, Tas, QLD) and no plan this could very much become a defacto referendum on opening the economy.

    A slomo ‘win’ would be vote for open borders and economies and used to stamp authority on the states to follow the will of the people. The lack of authority of the PM over the states must be a factor in his mind and this is a way to make the tow the line and show who is in charge.

    Can see the following elements of a campaign:

    A forward looking plan of freedums and hope and empty promise vs the hide under the doona isolationist regime

    A Comm vs States battle, especially labour states and a real blurring of State issues to make a political point

    An attempt to divide the opposition between supporting opening, those more cautious and also supporting the States

    Covid and freedums would be the focus, and thus would overshadow the real reasons that would otherwise focus a campaign e.g. rorts, dismantling assets, busfire relief, ministerial behaviors, general incompetence, climate change sexual scandals, the list goes on and on and on…..

    Just postulating on a Sunday arvo but the more I think about it is does have a very cunning plan element of dividing his opponents, promising everything and taking no responsibility for past actions.

  32. @P1 – being in caretaker would be a remarkable excuse for Morrison avoiding Glasgow.

    Which is part of my thinking as to the potential benefits for him. COP won’t be big enough of a reason to justify delaying an election if he wants it, but it’s a good enough excuse for him to avoid it.

  33. “I think at this point in time Scomo has a slightly better chance of winning in March/May than in November. Hence, please bring on November. I just hope Albo rises to the occasion. The virus will also help out.”

    sorry, whose partisanship is showing lol

  34. EF

    … leading a way forward …

    He is not doing any such thing. He is pre-empting and undermining any decisions/discussions before they even happen.

    sorry, whose partisanship is showing lol

    That would be the one who thinks Morrison is “leading the way forward”.

  35. Boerwar
    You recently commented the Taliban were not “monolithic’……………….

    Why the Taliban still can’t form a government
    September 03, 2021

    By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

    To call the negotiations to form a new Afghan government fractious would be a spectacular understatement. They have been managed, in practice, by former president Hamid Karzai and ex-head of the Reconciliation Council Abdullah Abdullah: a Pashtun and a Tajik who have vast international experience.

    Both Karzai and Abdullah are shoo-ins to be part of the 12-member shura.

    As the negotiations seemed to advance, a frontal clash developed between the Taliban political office in Doha and the Haqqani network regarding the distribution of key government posts.

    Add to it the role of Mullah Yakoob, son of Mullah Omar, and the head of the powerful Taliban military commission overseeing a massive network of field commanders, among which he’s extremely well-respected.

    Recently Yakoob had let it leak that those “living in luxury in Doha” cannot dictate terms to those involved in fighting on the ground. As if this was not contentious enough, Yakoob also has serious problems with the Haqqanis – who are now in charge of a key post: security of Kabul via the so far ultra-diplomatic Khalil Haqqani.

    https://thesaker.is/why-the-taliban-still-cant-form-a-government/

  36. Perth just had a packed Optus Stadium for the Wallabies getting touched up by the All Blacks.
    Brisbane yesterday had a packed Gabba for a thriller AFL game.
    Adelaide next week has a AFL prelim final, as does Perth – full houses.
    The NRL is playing its games up and down the Qld coast.
    Tasmania had its first ever AFL finals, with a conservative 10,000 crowd limit.
    The NRL Grand Final in Brisbane will be a packed house beamed around the world.
    The AFL Grand Final in Perth will be a packed house beamed around the world.

    Scott Morrison wants to have WA, Qld, SA, and Tasmania drop their border controls to export the NSW GladysPlague and kill off the freedoms those states enjoy.

    Now who would like to treat the upcoming election as a referendum on the GladMo plan?

  37. Expat

    “guessing ScoMo is pitching his tent around a better scenario than that and leading a way forward that”

    I’m guessing that Scomo is clueless about maths, physics and epidemiology. It caught up with Trump too.

  38. Sceptic

    Still a bit pricey. Tesla model 2 will certainly move things along. I’m just hoping that Toyota give up on hydrogen and get their new battery into production.

  39. I mean, I guess you could argue he’s leading Australia into a minefield, some of which he’s set up himself. Potentially to great effect, even!

  40. ‘Going early’ suggests that Morrison understands that there’s a risk of things getting worse in the New Year.

    Given that he’s never shown any indication that he really understands the gravity of the situation, that’s a big assumption.

  41. sprocket

    “Perth just had a packed Optus Stadium for the Wallabies getting touched up by the All Blacks.
    Brisbane yesterday had a packed Gabba for a thriller AFL game.
    Adelaide next week has a AFL prelim final, as does Perth – full houses.
    The NRL is playing its games up and down the Qld coast.
    Tasmania had its first ever AFL finals, with a conservative 10,000 crowd limit.
    The NRL Grand Final in Brisbane will be a packed house beamed around the world.
    The AFL Grand Final in Perth will be a packed house beamed around the world.”

    Yep, and those swinging voters have TVs and can see this..

  42. Cud – I actually think media coverage of any sort is less and less important with every passing election. A sizeable amount of people don’t watch free-to-air tv any more, and as streaming services become more and more widespread this will become even more acute. One unfortunate by-product of our increasing choice of media is that each of us tends to disappear into their own media bubble, feeding their own prejudices (how much Covid scepticism do you put up wit your own Facebook page?). Most swinging voters won’t even be thinking about how they will vote until the election is called, and then a lot of them won’t be getting their news from the ABC or even Sky News, but from Facebook or their other social networks.

    So, yes, mounting body counts (should that eventuate) may we’ll push opinion way or the other, but it’s probably more likely that they won’t see it, as they will steer away from such coverage. Of course, if it affects someone close to them, that’s another story, but even in the horror story Covid places, most people still don’t catch it, and it’s quite plausible that any given individual won’t be affected directly.

    To be clear, Morrison has fucked up the one job he had, which was getting enough vaccine supplies in time to take advantage of our extraordinary luck/good management in reaching zero Covid in 2020, and he deserves to lose. But I’ve never voted Liberal in my life, and never will, so my opinion is unimportant for him. Others, maybe not so much.

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