The final Essential Research poll for the campaign has Labor leading by 48% to 46% on the pollster’s “2PP+” measure, in from 49% to 45% a fortnight ago, with the remainder undecided. However, both the Coalition and Labor are steady on the primary vote at 36% and 35%, the change mostly being accounted for by respondent-allocated preferences. For the minor parties, the Greens are down one to 9%, One Nation is up one to 4%, the United Australia Party is down one to 3% and independents are up one to 6%. Leadership ratings are little changed: Scott Morrison is down one on approval to 43% and up one on disapproval to 49%, Anthony Albanese is up one to 42% and steady on 41%, and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister moves from 40-36 to 40-37.
My reading of the state breakdowns is that the results are likely too strong for the Coalition in Victoria and too weak in New South Wales, at least in relative terms — using previous election flows, Labor leads by about 53-47 in New South Wales and 51-49 in Victoria, respectively compared with 51-49 to the Coalition and around 53.5-46.5 a fortnight ago. The Coalition is credited with a lead of about 52-48 in Queensland, a swing to Labor of over 6%, compared with about 50-50 in the previous poll. Sample sizes here would have been about 500 in New South Wales, 400 in Victoria and 300 in Queensland.
The poll was conducted Wednesday to Tuesday from a sample of 1599. It has made little difference to the BludgerTrack aggregate, since it goes off primary votes which are little changed. The more heavily weighted Newspoll and Ipsos polls that are yet to come stand more chance of moving its needle, which they will want to do in the Coalition’s favour if it is to end up with a two-party preferred reading that I personally would think plausible.
Other polling news:
• The West Australian today had a poll by Utting Research showing independent Kate Chaney leading Liberal member Celia Hammond in Curtin by 52-48 on two-candidate preferred, from primary votes of 38% for Hammond, 32% for Chaney, 13% for Labor, 9% for the Greens and 3% for the United Australia Party. The poll was conducted on Monday from a sample of 514.
• Katherine Murphy of The Guardian reports Labor is “increasingly bullish” about Brisbane and Higgins, and further perceives “opportunity” in Bennelong and Ryan. The report says Labor internal polling has Scott Morrison’s disapproval rating across the four seats at 62%, 65%, 57% and 58% respectively, whereas Anthony Albanese is in the mid-forties in approval and mid-thirties on disapproval.
• Samantha Maiden of news.com.au reports on uComms polls for GetUp! of five seats chosen because of the effects on them of fires and floods. These have Labor member Fiona Phillips leading Liberal challenger Andrew Constance by 57-43 in Gilmore, but Liberal candidate Jerry Nockles leading Labor member Kirsty McBain by 51-49 in Eden-Monaro. Labor’s Peter Cossar is credited with a 55-45 lead over Liberal National Party member Julian Simmonds in Ryan, although his primary vote of 27% is not far clear of the Greens on 22%. Labor member Susan Templeman leads Liberal candidate Sarah Richards by 56-44 in Macquarie, and Nationals member Kevin Hogan leads Labor’s Patrick Deegan by 51-49 in Page, which he won by 9.4% in 2019. I have tended to think this pollster’s results have been flattering to Labor due to a limited weighting frame encompassing only age and gender, a notion disabused here only by the Eden-Monaro result.
• Speaking of which, The Australia Institute has a now dated uComms poll of Higgins from May 2 that had hitherto escaped my notice, showing Liberal member Katie Allen will lose either to Labor by 54-46 or the Greens by 55-45. Using the results of the forced-response follow-up to allocate the initially undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 36.9%, Labor 29.8% and Greens 19.9%, in which case it would clearly be Labor that won the seat.
• Redbridge Group has published full results of its poll for Climate 200 in North Sydney which, as noted here yesterday, had Liberal member Trent Zimmerman on 33.3%, independent Kylea Tink on 23.5% and Labor candidate Catherine Renshaw on 17.8%, with 7.5% undecided. The full report has results on a follow-up prompt for the undecided, and much more besides.
• The Australia Institute has Senate voting intention results for the five mainland states, which suggest the Greens are looking good across the board, One Nation might be a show in New South Wales as well as Queensland, the United Australia Party are competitive in Victoria, a third seat for Labor is in play in Western Australia, and Nick Xenophon might be in a tussle with One Nation for the last place in South Australia. With a national sample of 1002 though, there are naturally wide margins of error on these results. The accompanying report also include interesting data on respondents’ levels of understanding of the Senate voting process.
• The Advertiser reports an “internal party polling” – it does not say whose – of the South Australian Senate race has Labor on 34%, Liberal on 23%, the Greens on 12%, Nick Xenophon on 6%, One Nation on 4% and Rex Patrick on 3%. I imagine the most likely outcome of such a result would be two seats each for Labor and Liberal plus one for the Greens and one for Nick Xenophon. The poll had a sample of 644, with field work dates not disclosed.
• A joint sitting of the Western Australian parliament has just confirmed that Ben Small of the Liberal Party will fill his own Senate vacancy, having addressed the dual citizenship issue that forced his resignation. Small has the third position on the Liberal ticket at Saturday’s election.
• Sky News has obtained a voicemail message from 2019 in which Dai Le, who is threatening Kristina Keneally’s effort to use Fowler to move from the Senate to the House of Representatives, stated she still had control of the Liberal Party’s Cabramatta branch despite having been suspended from the party after running as an independent mayoral candidate in 2016. Le has been keen to express her independent credentials in a seat where the Liberal Party has little support.
• Samantha Maiden of news.com.au reports Labor focus groups in Bennelong, Deakin and Pearce registered negative reactions to the Liberal Party’s policy of allowing home buyers to make use of their superannuation.
• The count for the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Huon has been completed, with the distribution of preferences resulting in a victory for independent candidate Dean Harriss over Labor’s Toby Thorpe at the final count by 11,840 votes (52.55%) to 10,693 (47.45%). Thorpe led on the primary vote, but Liberal preferences flowed to Harriss more strongly than Greens preferences did to Thorpe. This maintains the numbers in the chamber at four Labor, four Liberal and seven independents, although an ex-Labor member has been replaced by one with a conservative pedigree, his father having served in parliament both as an independent and with the Liberal Party.