Super Saturday minus eleven days

The LNP’s candidate hits a speed bump in Longman; One Nation goes on the warpath against Labor; and a poll suggests a close result in Braddon.

Latest news to relate from the by-election campaign trails, almost all of it relating to Longman:

• The Longman campaign has been hit by the bombshell of a Courier-Mail report that Trevor Ruthenberg, the Liberal National Party candidate, wrongly claimed to have received the Australian Service Medal in his state parliamentary biography. Ruthenberg claims to have innocently confused the award for distinguished service with his Australian Defence Medal, granted to those who serve for four years or more, as Ruthenberg had done with the Royal Australian Air Force. This offers an uncomfortable parallel with Barry Urban, the Western Australian state Labor MP whose false claims led to his resignation and the staging of the Darling Range by-election on June 30.

• The Liberal National Party and One Nation are denying a preference deal, but each has the other in seventh place on their how-to-vote card. Since both have Labor’s Susan Lamb placed lower, this is as good as second. One Nation has copped flak for placing Lamb behind Jim Saleam, Australia First candidate and former leader of neo-Nazi group National Action, in consequence of its decision to place Labor and the Greens last. Another distinction of the One Nation campaign has been the involvement of Mark Latham, who recorded a robocall message for the party in which he branded Bill Shorten a liar and urged a vote for minor parties.

• A report by Amy Remeikis of The Guardian relates the view of a Labor strategist that the One Nation how-to-vote card is unlikely to prevent Labor getting around 40% of their preferences, and that the party’s support is “overstated”. The report also reveals a straw poll of 100 people at a Caboolture shopping centre captured only about twenty who knew the by-election was happening, not a single one of whom could name either major party candidate.

• A ReachTEL poll of Braddon on July 6 recorded, after exclusion of the 6.2% undecided, a 38.7% primary vote for Labor and its Section 44 casualty, Justine Keay; 45.7% for Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley; 8.5% for independent Craig Garland; and 4.7% for the Greens. No two-party result was provided, but Kevin Bonham has applied 2016 preference flows to produce a result of 50.5-49.5 in favour of the Liberals. The poll was conducted for The Australian Institute from a sample of 700.

Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

A slight narrowing in the Labor lead brings Essential Research’s two-party result in line with Newspoll’s.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll for The Guardian has Labor’s two-party lead down from 52-48 to 51-49. Primary votes will have to wait for the publication of the full results later today. A series of findings on energy policy offer something for everybody. Eighty per cent favoured an inquiry into the contribution of power companies to high power prices; 63% thought energy companies should be returned to public ownership; 61% believing burning coal causes climate change; and 55% thought expanding coal mining would undermine efforts to address it. However, 47% thought coal-fired power cheaper than that from renewables; 40% supported the call by some Nationals for $5 billion to be spent on coal plants, with 38% opposed. Thirty-eight per cent thought the government should prioritise renewables over coal, 16% thought the opposite, and 34% thought they should be treated equally.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here.

Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

A more or less entirely static result from Newspoll, highlighted if anything by slight movement from the major to the minor parties.

The latest Newspoll result from The Australian has Labor’s two-party lead unchanged from a fortnight ago at 51-49, with both major parties down a point on the primary vote – to 38% in the Coalition’s case and 36% in Labor’s – with both the Greens and One Nation up a point, to 10% and 7% respectively. On personal ratings, Malcolm Turnbull is down one on approval to 41% and up one on disapproval to 49%, Bill Shorten unchanged at 32% and down one to 56%, and Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is out from 46-31 to 48-29. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from an as yet unreported sample size that would have been between 1600 and 1700.

UPDATE: The sample was 1644. Respondents were also asked if they approved or disapproved of the fact that the government has granted residency to less than 165,000 new migrants this year, compared with a cap of 190,000. Seventy-two per cent did so, compared with 23% who disapproved.

BludgerTrack: 52.3-47.7 to Labor (still)

The addition of Newspoll’s state breakdowns to the BludgerTrack results in a net gain of two for the Coalition on the national seat projection.

There were no new federal polls this week, but we did get repackaged old ones in the form of quarterly state breakdowns from Newspoll and Ipsos. I only have full results from the former at this stage, but am hopeful of acquiring the latter next week. So all that’s happened in this week’s BludgerTrack update is that the new Newspoll data has been used to recalculate state breakdowns, with the national results exactly as they were last week.

As is often the case, the big hit of Newspoll state data has made little difference in the larger states, but quite a bit in the smaller ones, where samples are smaller and results less robust. This puts the Coalition solidly up in both Western Australia and South Australia, where they gain one seat apiece on the seat projections. While the changes in Victoria and Queensland are small, they have put the Coalition up a seat in Victoria and down one in Queensland. So the net effect of the changes is a two-seat gain to the Coalition, with Labor now projected to win 86 seats nationally to the Coalition’s 60.

Full results through the link below.

Newspoll and Ipsos state breakdowns

State breakdowns from recent polling by both Newspoll and Ipsos agree that Queensland remains a major headache for the Turnbull government.

The Australian has today brought us its quarterly Newspoll breakdowns, whereby three months of polling is condensed into results broken down for the five mainland states, so as to provide such numbers from reliable sample sizes. That much at least was predictable, but we also have today the same exercise from Ipsos courtesy of the Fairfax papers, which is a first. This is because Ipsos poll samples have been pared back from 1400 to 1200, presumably for reasons of cost, and the pollster no longer cares to publish state breakdowns from such small sub-samples, and has thus gone down the Newspoll path of aggregating them on a quarterly basis.

The Australian provides comprehensive Newspoll tables if you’re a subscriber (also featuring breakdowns by gender, three age cohorts and mainland state capitals versus the rest), but all we’ve got from Fairfax so far as I can see is two-party results (more detail may follow in due course). In New South Wales, Newspoll has Labor leading 52-48, while Ipsos has 53-47 (there’s an error in the Fin Review graphic, but that’s what it is); in Victoria, it’s 53-47 from Newspoll, and no less than 56-44 from Ipsos (which is most of the reason Ipsos’s results have been better for Labor lately than Newspoll’s); in Queensland, it’s 53-47 from Newspoll, 52-48 from Ipsos; in Western Australia, Newspoll has it at 50-50, while Ipsos unusually has the Coalition up 53-47; and in South Australia, Newspoll has Labor up 51-49, while Ipsos has it at 52-48 (the latter is inclusive of the Northern Territory, although that shouldn’t matter much – ditto for Newspoll rolling the Australian Capital Territory into New South Wales).

All of which should put BludgerTrack on a firmer footing for its update later this week, despite the likelihood that there will be no new national poll. Also out today is a ReachTEL state poll from Victoria, which is covered in the post below.

ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in Victoria

A new poll suggests the looming state election in Victoria will be just as tight as the last two.

The Age has a ReachTEL poll of state voting intention in Victoria, which credits Labor with a 51-49 lead on two-party preferred. After exclusion of the 3.5% undecided, the primary votes are Labor 36.7%, Coalition 40.8%, Greens 10.9% and One Nation 3.7%. The two-party result, which is based on respondent-allocated preferences, is about a point more favourable to Labor than one based on 2014 preference flows would have been. Also featured are questions on preferred premier, more trustworthy leader, and better party to relieve Melbourne’s congestion problem (which presumably refers to traffic), relieve cost-of-living pressure and manage Melbourne’s growing population, all of which show absolutely nothing in it. The exception to this picture is best party to handle law and order, on which the Coalition leads 55.8-44.2.

The poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 1505. The Age’s online report features agreeably thorough breakdowns of voting intention by gender and age cohort.

Below you will find a poll aggregation chart I have put together, combining four results from Newspoll (from whom we heard nothing in 2016), four from ReachTEL, three from Galaxy, twelve from Roy Morgan and twenty-one from Essential Research. ReachTEL, Morgan and Essential are bias-adjusted to make more like Newspoll and Galaxy. On the current reading of the trend, Labor leads 51.8-48.2, from primary votes of Labor 38.1%, Coalition 40.3% and Greens 11.6%.

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