Polls: Essential Research and Roy Morgan on voting intention, housing and Indigenous Voice (open thread)

More stable results on federal voting intention, and the first Indigenous Voice poll in a while that doesn’t suggest falling support.

The fortnightly federal voting intention numbers from Essential Research, inclusive of an unchanged 5% undecided component, have Labor down a point to 34%, the Coalition steady on 31%, the Greens up one to 15%, One Nation up one to 6% and the United Australia Party on one to 2%. The pollster’s 2PP+ measure has Labor down one to 52%, the Coalition up one to 43% and undecided steady on 5%.

The poll also included questions on the housing system, which only 13% rated as good for renters along with 12% for future generations, respectively compared with 63% and 59% for bad. The system was deemed most favourable for existing home owners (43% good, 20% bad) and residential property investors (37% good, 27% for bad). The Housing Australia Future Fund, which respondents were told “aims to invest $10 billion and spend the earnings on building 30,000 affordable homes over the next five years”, was considered too much investment by 9%, too little by 30% and about right by 41%.

Questions on negative gearing found 36% support for its abolition with 25% opposed, widening to 49% and 17% for a limitation to one investment property. Majority support was recorded for all of five proposed reforms that did not involve tax, restrictions on foreign investment (69% supportive, 12% opposed), rental freezes (60% and 17%) and migration caps (60% and 15%) more so than allowing super to be accessed (56% and 20%). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1138.

Also out today was an SMS poll from Roy Morgan on the Indigenous Voice, which found 46% saying they would vote yes in a referendum, unchanged on mid-April, with opposition down three to 36%. Yes led in New South Wales (48% to 38%), Victoria (47% to 32%), Western Australia (41% to 35%) and South Australia (47% to 32%), but not Queensland (39% to 46%). The poll was conducted Friday to Monday from a sample of 1833.

The pollster’s weekly federal voting intention results, conducted separately online and by phone from Monday to Sunday, have Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 55.5-44.5 from primary votes of Labor 36%, Coalition 33.5% and Greens 11.5%. There was also an SMS poll of state voting intention in Victoria last week that had Labor leading 61.5-38.5, conducted from a sample of 2095 from May 17 to 22.

Miscellany: Fadden by-election, Liberal and Greens candidate selection (open thread)

A date set for the Fadden by-election, and an LNP candidate soon to be as well — along with a Liberal successor to the late Jim Molan in the Senate.

Before we proceed to a brief summary of electorally relevant current events in federal politics, please note the other quality content that it’s pushing down the order: a guest post from Adrian Beaumont on the threat of US debt default and other international events, a post on a Tasmanian poll with a summary of recent events in that state, and a detailed analysis of results from last year’s federal election in thirteen seats in inner Melbourne.

• The Fadden by-election has been set for July 25, with nominations to close on June 23. As was covered in the previous post, a Liberal National Party preselection that has attracted five nominees will be conducted today. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that Anthony Albanese would rather Labor forfeit the by-election for a seat the LNP holds on a 10.6% margin, but must reckon with a local branch “agitating to run a candidate”.

• The New South Wales Liberal Party will hold its preselection this weekend to fill the Senate vacancy resulting from the death of Jim Molan in January. The field have candidates has narrowed to three: former state Transport Minister Andrew Constance, former state party president Maria Kovacic and Space Industry Association chief executive James Brown. The Sydney Morning Herald reports the latter has a long list of high-profile backers including John Howard, Julie Bishop and Dave Sharma.

• The Byron Shire Echo reports comedian Mandy Nolan will again run as the Greens candidate for the Byron Bay and Tweed Heads region seat of Richmond at the next federal election. Nolan added 5.0% to the party’s primary vote share last May to outpoll the Nationals, although preferences from right-wing minor parties pushed the Nationals candidate ahead of her at the final exclusion.

Miscellany: Freshwater Strategy polling, by-election latest and more (open thread)

An unorthodox set of voting intention numbers from Freshwater Strategy, more signs of a narrowing on the Indigenous Voice, and the closure of nominations for the Liberal National Party preselection in Fadden.

The Financial Review had a set of federal voting intention numbers on Friday from Freshwater Strategy, which were highly distinctive in having Labor leading by only 52-48, compared with 54-46 from the last such poll in December. The primary votes were Labor 34% (down three), Coalition 37% (steady), Greens 12% (steady) and 17% for the rest. Anthony Albanese was on 42% approval (down six) and 37% disapproval (up seven), a substantially narrower net positive rating than recorded by other pollsters, while Peter Dutton had less anomalous numbers of 30% (up one) and 42% (up four). A preferred prime minister question had Albanese with an usually narrow lead of 51-33, in from 55-29. The poll was conducted Monday to Wednesday from a sample of 1005.

Further findings from the poll:

• Support for the Indigenous Voice was down two since December to 48% while opposition was up ten to 39%, including a 20-point increase among Coalition voters and a seven point increase among Labor and Greens voters. This converted to 55-45 after exclusion of the undecided, in from 65-35.

• Only nine per cent felt the budget would put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates, compared with 52% who thought the opposite and 23% who said it would have no effect. Forty-eight per cent felt the country was heading in the wrong direction, up six, compared with 37% for right direction, down seven.

• Seventy per cent supported Peter Dutton’s call for sport gambling ads to be curtailed, with 13% opposed, and 59% supported his proposal to allow the unemployed to earn $150 a fortnight more without affecting their JobSeeker rate.

By-election latest:

Amy Remeikis of The Guardian reports five candidates have emerged for Liberal National Party preselection in Fadden, with nominations having closed last Friday and a ballot of eligible local members to be conducted this Friday. The Gold Coast Bulletin identifies four of them: Gold Coast councillor Cameron Caldwell, who is widely rated the front-runner; Dinesh Palipana, emergency doctor at Gold Coast University Hospital and the state’s first quadriplegic medical graduate; Fran Ward, founder of a charity supporting distressed farmers; and Owen Carterer, who would appear to have a low profile. “Long-term members” were backing Caldwell, but Palipana had support from “Young LNP party members linked to state MP Sam O’Connor”, though critics were arguing he would do better to run at the state election.

• The Age/Herald reported a spokesperson for Scott Morrison saying his departure from parliament was “not imminent”, and would certainly not be soon enough to allow for joint by-elections in Fadden and his seat of Cook. However, it could “possibly come at the end of the year”.

Other news from around the place:

David Penberthy of The Australian reported last week that bitterly fought Liberal Senate preselection looms in South Australia, the flashpoint being the position of Senator Alex Antic. Together with like-minded Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick, Antic withdrew parliamentary support from the Morrison government in protest against mandatory vaccinations, and has lately courted far right sentiment by mocking Volodomyr Zelenskyy in parliament and following it up with a theatrically disingenuous apology. Antic was elected from third position on the ticket in 2019, behind Anne Ruston and David Fawcett. As religious conservatives make headway in a push to take control of a party that took a distinctly moderate turn under Steven Marshall’s one-term state government, there are said to be some hoping Antic might be pushed to the top of the ticket (though an unidentified and presumably conservative party figure is quoted denying it), and others hoping he might be dumped altogether.

Sumeyya Ilanbey of The Age reports Victorian Liberal state president Greg Mirabella told state council yesterday that an external report into the Aston by-election found defeated candidate Roshena Campbell had “the highest recognition and positivity among Liberal names, even when compared with outgoing federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge”. This would not seem to sit will with a view that has taken hold in the party that Campbell’s lack of local connection to the seat explained the result, as reflected in Peter Dutton’s determination that a local should succeed Stuart Robert in Fadden.

• RedBridge Group has results from polling of Victorian voters on federal voting intention, which after exclusion of the undecided finds Labor on 41% (32.9% at the election), the Coalition on 34% (33.1%) and the Greens on 12% (13.7%). The pollster’s high-profile director of strategy and analytics, Kos Samaras, argues the Liberals’ dismal levels of support in the state among non-religous voters, Indian Australians and Buddhists in general puts it in an unwinnable position.

• In his column in the Age/Herald on Saturday, George Megalogenis wrote that “private polling for the Yes campaign is more encouraging” than this week’s Resolve Strategic result of 53-47 (although Kos Samaras of RedBridge argues social desirability bias effects in polling on such questions means proponents should not feel comfortable of even a national majority unless polling has it clear of 55-45). However, Megalogenis says “Queensland is now assumed as lost, with Western Australia doubtful”, with “Tasmania as the potential swing state”.

The West Australian provides a sketchy report of polling by Painted Dog Research gauging the opinions of 1409 voters in Western Australia on Anthony Albanese, Peter Dutton and Jim Chalmers. Albanese recorded an approval rating of “just under half”, with 26% dissatisfied, with Peter Dutton apparently scoring a parlous 16% approval and 48% disapproval. “About a third” approved of Jim Chalmers’ performance as Treasurer, while “just under a quarter disapproved”.

• The Age/Herald yesterday reported results on issue salience from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll, finding the cost of living with a huge lead as the highest priority issue, identified as such by 48% compared with 11% for health care, 10% for the environment and climate change and 8% for management of the economy. Cost of living has ascended to its present level from 16% last January and 25% at the time of the federal election in May.

Resolve Strategic: Labor 42, Coalition 30, Greens 12 (open thread)

Resolve Strategic brings the government very good news on voting intention, but rather less good news on the Indigenous Voice.

The Age/Herald reports that the Resolve Strategic poll, from which budget response numbers were published on Tuesday, had strong results for Labor on voting intention, all but replicating the resounding Labor lead in the prevous poll a month ago. Labor was steady on the primary vote at 42%, with the Coalition up two to 30%, the Greens steady on 12%, One Nation down one to 5% and the United Australia Party up one to 2%. Resolve Strategic does not publish two-party preferred numbers, but I make this to be about 61-39 in Labor’s favour based on previous election preference flows, compared with 62-38 last time.

There are some rather quirky results in the breakdowns, including a lurch in favour of Labor in Victoria (what I reckon to be a two-party lead of about 66.5-33.5, out from 58-42 last time) and against it in Queensland (a lead of at most 51-49, compared with 60-40 last time). The poll also finds Labor doing slightly better among men than women, which is in contrast to Essential Research’s findings of a consistent gender gap in the opposite direction, in keeping with the conventional wisdom. However, Resolve Strategic’s finding was supported by the most recent aggregated demographic breakdowns from Newspoll, which had Labor leading 55-45 among men and 54-46 among women. All concerned find the Greens doing better among women than men.

The poll’s personal ratings record no change for Anthony Albanese, who remains at 56% in his combined very good and good rating and 29% for combined very poor and poor. Peter Dutton is respectively up two to 28% and down five to 49%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister is at 53-20, in from 55-21 last time.

Less happily for the government, the poll included a question on the Indigenous Voice that records the softest support of any credible poll to date, at odds with the near-simultaneous finding from Essential Research. It found 44% in favour (down two on a month ago), 39% opposed (up eight) and 18% undecided (down four), with a forced response follow-up recording 53% in favour and 47% opposed (58% and 42% last time). The poll was conducted from a sample of 1610 from Wednesday to Sunday.

The latest weekly Roy Morgan numbers suggest the slump it recorded in Labor support a fortnight ago to have been an anomaly – Labor now leads 57-43 on two-party preferred, compared with 54.5-45.5 last week and 53.5-46.5 the week before. The primary votes are Labor 36.5% (up one), Coalition 33.5% (down two) and Greens 13% (up half). The poll was conducted last Monday to Sunday.

Budget polling: Essential Research and Resolve Strategic (open thread)

Resolve Strategic offers better budget response numbers than Essential or Newspoll, with no sign of any impact one way or the other on voting intention.

Essential Research and Resolve Strategic offer further numbers on budget polling, both tending to support Newspoll’s impression of a lukewarm response to the budget, and one — or possibly two, with Resolve Strategic to be confirmed — also supporting its finding of no discernible impact on voting intention.

What we have so far from Essential Research is a report in The Guardian relating that its 2PP+ measure of voting intention has Labor steady on 53% and the Coalition up one to 42%, with the remainder undecided; Anthony Albanese up three on approval to 54% and down two on disapproval to 35%; and Peter Dutton steady on approval at 36% and up one on disapproval to 45%. For primary votes will have to wait for the pollster’s publication of its full results later today.

The poll found 24% expecting the government would be good for them personally, which presumably had a corresponding result for bad that will also have to wait for the full report. Only limited numbers felt it would create jobs (33%), reduce debt (29%), reduce cost-of-living pressures (26%), whereas 46% felt it would “create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future”. Respondents were most likely to rate that the budget would be good for people receiving government payments and least likely to younger Australians and “average working people”.

There was also a forced response questions on the Indigenous Voice and a republic, the former finding the margin from yes in to 59-41 from 60-40 a month ago, with small state sub-samples finding recording big leads in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, but an even balance in Queensland and Western Australia. The republic question, which apparently left the devil undetailed, broke 54-46 in favour. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1080.

The Resolve Strategic poll in the Age/Herald, which will presumably follow up with voting intention results fairly short, seemingly produced the most favourable results for the budget, with 31% saying it would be good for them and their household compared with 26% for bad; 44% good for the country with 17% for bad; 36% good for the health of the economy with 15% for bad; and 39% good for “rebuilding a healthy budget” with 17% for bad. Similarly to Essential Research, it found respondents were most likely to see the budget as good for the less fortunate and disadvantaged, with 56% for good and 14% for poor, but it substantially more positive results for both older people (48% good and 17% bad) and younger people (39% and 17%).

Respondents were asked about twelve specific items in the budget, finding majority support for all but two: limiting growth in NDIS spending to 8% a year, which still recorded a net positive result with 37% in favour and 17% opposed, and facilities for the Brisbane Olympics and Tasmanian AFL, which were supported by 27% and opposed by 37%. The most popular measure was the spending on Medicare to encourage bulk billing, at 81% in favour and 5% opposed, with funding for a wage increase for aged care workers, energy bill relief and doubling of medicine prescription periods recording between 73% and 75% support. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1610.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research voting intention numbers are here and the full report here. The former’s primary votes are very strong for Labor, suggesting the static 2PP+ numbers relied on a change in respondent-allocated preferences: Labor are up two 35%, the Coalition are down one to 31%, the Greens are steady on 14%, One Nation are steady on 5% and the United Australia Party is down one to 1%. Further, the report allows comparison of the budget response with five budgets going back to 2020, which makes the numbers look better than at first blush. Twenty-four per cent for “good for you personally” is about par for the course; the 41% and 37% for “good for people on lower incomes” and “good for older Australians” are comfortably the strongest results out of five budgets going back to 2020; 46% for “place unnecessary burdens on future generations” is the best result of the five.

Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor (open thread)

A middling reaction to the budget from the latest Newspoll, although Labor maintains its dominance on voting intention.

The Australian reports the post-budget Newspoll finds Labor retaining its strong two-party preferred lead of 55-45, in from 56-44 three weeks ago, from primary votes of Labor 38% (steady), Coalition 34% (up one), Greens 11% (steady) and One Nation 7% (steady). Both leaders are up on personal approval, Anthony Albanese by four to 57% and Peter Dutton by three to 36% – no word yet on disapproval ratings (UPDATE: Albanese’s disapproval is up one to 38% and Dutton’s is down one to 51%). Albanese’s lead on preferred prime minister shifts from 54-28 to 56-29.

Respondents were asked the same set of questions on the budget that Newspoll has been posing since 1988, producing results exactly in line with the long term average on personal impact, with 20% expecting they will be better off and 36% worse off. The results on overall economic impact are net positive, with 33% saying it would be good and 28% bad, although the former is about eight points below the historic average while the latter is par for the course, reflecting a higher than usual result for neither good nor bad. Perhaps relatedly, only 13% expected the budget would have a positive impact on inflation compared with 39% for negative and 33% for no difference. Thirty-five per cent felt the opposition would have done a better job compared with 49% who did not, a difference in line with the long term average, although with a slightly lower undecided rate.

The poll was presumably conducted from Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of around 1600, though there’s no precise indication of the latter yet that I can see. More to follow.

UPDATE: The poll was in fact conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1516. Note that two fresh posts have been pushed down the batting order by this one: a guest post by Adrian Beaumont on today’s Turkish elections, and the latest in the Call of the Board series looking in detail at seat results at last year’s federal election.

Budget week miscellany (open thread)

Not much polling, but a lot of Liberal National Party preselection news from Queensland, including the latest on the looming Fadden by-election.

Title aside, this post doesn’t actually have a huge amount to tell you about the budget, which is the reason for a polling drought this week — Newspoll, Resolve Strategic and Essential Research should all be conducting polling over the coming days to gauge response to the budget and its effect if any on voting intention, to arrive in a flood probably on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. All we have on the poll front is the usual light-on-detail weekly numbers from Roy Morgan, which have Labor’s two-party lead out to 54.5-44.5 after narrowing from 56.5-43.5 to 53.5-46.5 last week, from primary votes of 35.5% apiece for Labor (down half) and the Coalition (steady) and 12.5% (down half, so presumably the two-party movement comes off preference flows).

Other than that:

• The Australia Institute had a survey last week found 80% agreement that the budget should provide more spending on affordable housing, compared with 10% who disagreed, with only 25% considering the government’s proposed housing investment fund would provide enough of it, compared with 51% who disagreed. The survey was conducted from April 11 to 14 from a sample of 1002. Simon Welsh of RedBridge Group says the firm’s focus group research suggests the public has grown more empathetic following a pandemic that “broadened out our in-groups to include the vulnerable and the disadvantaged”, combined with “the rising influence of Millennial and Gen Z voters, with their high-levels of social progressiveness”. Together no doubt with the parlous state of conservative politics at present, this is feeding into “strong levels of support for policies/proposals like the Voice, NDIS funding, ‘raising the rate’ or restitution of single parent payments”.

• The Australian reports Fran Ward, founder of a charity supporting distressed farmers, has the support of Stuart Robert to succeed him as the Liberal National Party candidate at the imminent Fadden by-election, and is “seen as the front-runner”. Ward ran unsuccessfully to succeed Andrew Laming in Bowman at the last election and Steve Ciobo in Moncrieff in 2019. Also said to be considering a run is Gold Coast councillor Cameron Caldwell, whom Fran Ward unsuccessfully challenged at the council election in 2016. The Australian added another name to the list yesterday in Dinesh Palipana, “Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical graduate, works as an emergency doctor at the Gold Coast University Hospital”. After an initial flurry of speculation, Amanda Stoker, who failed to win re-election to the Senate from third position on the party’s ticket last year, has ruled herself out. Peter Dutton appeared to scotch the possibility of Stoker on the weekend when he said a local would be preselected, suggesting a failure to do so was the principal lesson to be learned from the defeat in Aston.

• Notwithstanding Amanda Stoker’s residence in Brisbane, The Australian’s Feeding the Chooks column related a fortnight ago that she was “sniffing around the Gold Coast” for a seat – the suggestion at the time being that she would seek to succeed Karen Andrews in McPherson when she retires at the next election. Others said to be in contention for McPherson were Ben Naday, a lawyer and rural fire brigade officer backed by Andrews, and Leon Rebello, solicitor for King & Wood Mallesons and former staffer to Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister.

• Also from Feeding the Chooks, a report that hard right Liberal National Party Senator Gerard Rennick has attracted a number of preselection challengers for his third position on the party’s Senate ticket, the most formidable of whom is said to be Nelson Savanh, a registered lobbyist who has support from James McGrath. Others in the field are “current Queensland LNP party treasurer and former Tattersall’s Club prez Stuart Fraser, serial candidate Fiona Ward (who has run for state and federal lower house seats before) and former Coalition adviser Sophie Li”, the latter of whom describes herself as “a technology entrepreneur, former banker and immigrant millennial woman”. The matter will determined by the party’s state conference on July 7.

Miscellany: Fadden by-election, royal family opinion poll and more (open thread)

Stuart Robert calls time on his 16 year parliamentary career, initiating a by-election in a seat the Coalition should find a little harder to lose than Aston.

Recent developments of note, none more so than a new federal by-election hot on the heels of the boilover result in Aston on April 1:

• The second federal by-election of the parliamentary term looms, not as anticipated in Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook (at least, not yet), but in the Gold Coast seat of Fadden, where Liberal-aligned Liberal National Party member Stuart Robert is calling it a day. Robert held the seat with a 10.6% margin at last year’s election after a 3.5% swing to Labor, making the seat a good deal safer than Aston with its 2.8% margin post-election and raising the question as to whether Labor will find making a contest of it worth its bother. Robert has held the seat since 2007 and became embroiled in the robodebt affair through his carriage of the human services portfolio, a distinction he coincidentally shared with the former member for Aston, Alan Tudge.

• On a related note, James Massola of the Age/Herald reported prior to Robert’s announcement that a “major British company in the defence sector” had sounded out Scott Morrison for a job opportunity, potentially resulting in a by-election in Cook as soon as July.

The Australian reports John Howard has backed James Brown, chief executive of the Space Industry Association, former RSL president and veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, to fill the New South Wales Liberal Senate vacancy arising from the death of Jim Molan in January. The report also relates that Brown is factionally unaligned, former husband of Malcolm Turnbull’s daughter Daisy Turnbull, and an opponent of the Indigenous Voice. The other confirmed starters are former state government minister and unsuccessful Gilmore candidate Andrew Constance and former state party president Maria Kovacic, but a number of other names have been mentioned as possibilities.

The Australian had results of a YouGov poll on perceptions of the royal family, which found William and Catherine well ahead of the field with positive ratings in the mid-seventies, Charles up nine points since March 2021 on 52%, Harry down over the same period from 61% to 38% and Meghan down from 46% to 27%, with Andrew down seven from an already low base to 15%. Forty-three per cent of respondents professed themselves not at all interested in the coronation, with 24% a little bit interested, 19% fairly interested and 14% very interested.

Two matters at state level of note:

• As covered in the previous post, Tasmania held its annual Legislative Council elections yesterday in three of the chamber’s 15 seats, which gave Labor a rare spot of good news in the state with a resounding win for incumbent Sarah Lovell in the outer Hobart seat of Rumney. Lovell’s primary vote increased from 33.8% to 50.5% despite the fact that she faced a Liberal candidate this time and not last time (although more favourable boundaries may have helped). There were even more resounding wins for independent incumbents in the seats of Launceston and Murchison.

• Public suggestions have been published for the Western Australian state redistribution. Labor’s submission calls for the abolition of the regional seat of North West Central and the creation of a new seat in the metropolitan area, in line with ongoing population trends, proposing a rearrangement of the outer metropolitan area that would provide for new seats centred on the fast-growing urban centres of Ellenbrook and Byford. The Liberals would prefer that the commissioners stretch the elastic to maintain the status quo.