Polls: Indigenous voice, leadership approval, skills shortages (open thread)

Strong support in principle for an Indigenous voice to parliament; a largely positive response to the Jobs Summit from those who noticed it; and no sign of the sheen coming off Anthony Albanese.

Time for a new open thread post, though I don’t have a whole lot to hang one off. There’s always US pollster Morning Consult’s tracking poll on approval of Anthony Albanese, which continues to record no significant change since June, with Albanese currently on 60% approval and 27% disapproval. This gives him the third best result of 22 international leaders being followed by the pollster, behind India’s Nahendra Modi and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

There are also two new sets of supplemental results from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll in the Age/Herald:

• A series of questions on outcomes from the Jobs Summit published on Saturday had favourable results for multi-employer bargaining, more TAFE places and allowing older Australians to earn more before losing the aged pension, but only 34% in favour of the increased migration intake, with 33% opposed. Only 24% rated themselves “definitely aware” of the recent Jobs Summit, compared with 38% for “vaguely aware” and 38% for unaware. Thirty-six per cent agreed it had achieved its (non-political) objectives compared with 19% who disagreed and 46% who were either undecided or neutral.

• The Age/Herald had a further result yesterday showing a 64-36 break in favour of a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice, evidently based on a forced response. Clear majorities were recorded in all states, and while there is no reason to be dubious about this, the Tasmanian sample especially would obviously have been exceedingly small.

Resolve Strategic: Labor 39, Coalition 32, Greens 10 (open thread)

A dent to Labor’s still commanding lead from Resolve Strategic, as it and Essential Research disagree on the trajectory of Anthony Albanese’s personal ratings.

The Age/Herald has published the second of what hopefully looks like being a regular monthly federal polling series, showing Labor down three points on the primary vote 39%, the Coalition up four to 32%, the Greens down two to 10%, One Nation up one to 6% and the United Australia Party steady on 2%. Based on preferences from the May election, this suggests a Labor two-party lead of 57-43, in from 61-39 last time. Anthony Albanese’s combined good plus very good rating is up one to 62% and his poor plus very poor rating is up two to 24%. Peter Dutton is respectively down two to 28% and up three to 40%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 55-17 to 53-19.

The poll also finds 54-46 support for retaining the monarchy over becoming a republic in the event of a referendum, reversing a result from January. The late Queen’s “time as Australia’s head of state” was rated as good by 75% and poor by 5%, while David Hurley’s tenure as Governor-General was rated good by 30% and poor by 13%, with the remainder unsure or neutral. Forty-five per cent expect that King Charles III will perform well compared with 14% for badly. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1607.

Also out yesterday was the regular fortnightly release from Essential Research, which features the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, though still nothing on voting intention. Its new method for gauging leadership invites respondents introduced last month is to rate the leaders on a scale from zero to ten, categorising scores of seven to ten as positive, zero to three as negative and four to six as neutral. Contra Resolve Strategic, this has Albanese’s positive rating up three to 46%, his negative rating down six to 17% and his neutral rating up three to 31%. Dutton’s is down three on positive to 23%, steady on negative at 34% and up four on negative to 34%.

The poll also gauged support for a republic, and its specification of an “Australian head of state” elicited a more positive response than for Resolve Strategic or Roy Morgan, with support at 43% and opposition at 37%, although this is the narrowest result from the pollster out of seven going back to January 2017, with support down one since June and opposition up three. When asked if King Charles III should be Australia’s head of state, the sample came down exactly 50-50. The late Queen posthumously records a positive rating of 71% and a negative rating of 8% and Prince William comes in at 64% and 10%, but the King’s ratings of 44% and 21% are only slightly better than those of Prince Harry at 42% and 22%. The September 22 public holiday has the support of 61%, but 48% consider the media coverage excessive, compared with 42% for about right and 10% for insufficient. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1075.

The weekly Roy Morgan federal voting intention result, as related in threadbare form in its weekly update videos, gives Labor a lead of 54.5-45.5, out from 53.5-46.5 and the pollster’s strongest result for Labor since the election.

Finally, some resolution to recent by-election coverage:

• Saturday’s by-election for the Western Australian state seat of North West Central produced a comfortable win for Nationals candidate Merome Beard in the absence of a candidate from Labor, who polled 40.2% in the March 2021 landslide and fell 1.7% short after preferences. Beard leads Liberal candidate Will Baston with a 9.7% margin on the two-candidate preferred count, although the Nationals primary vote was scarcely changed despite the absence of Labor, while the Liberals were up from an abysmal 7.9% to 26.7%. The by-elections other remarkable feature was turnout – low in this electorate at the best of times, it currently stands at 42.2% of the enrolment with a mere 4490 formal votes cast, down from 73.8% and 7741 formal votes in 2021, with likely only a few hundred postals yet to come. Results have not been updated since Sunday, but continue to be tracked on my results page.

• A provisional distribution of preferences recorded Labor candidate Luke Edmunds winning the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke by a margin of 13.3%, out from 8.7% when the electorate last went to polls in May 2019. Labor’s primary vote was down from 45.2% to 39.5% in the face of competition from the Greens, who polled a solid 19.3% after declining to contest last time, while the Liberals were up to 28.8% from 25.3% last time, when a conservative independent polled 18.4%.

Morgan polls, SEC Newgate poll, JSCEM submissions (open thread)

A burst of enthusiasm for the monarchy, steady support for federal Labor, and some other stuff.

Two contributions from Roy Morgan: its weekly report video tells us this week’s federal polling has Labor’s lead unchanged at 53.5-46.5, without offering any information on primary votes, and it has an SMS poll of 1012 respondents conducted on Sunday that found a 60-40 split in favour of retaining the monarchy over becoming a republic, albeit it might be faulted for having been conducted at an uncommonly opportune moment for monarchist sentiment.

The Australian also reported yesterday that SEC Newgate polling found 57% of Victorians were optimistic about the direction of the state; cost of living, health care and employment as the top priorities; “nearly half” trusting Daniel Andrews to lead the state through pandemic challenges compared with 16% for Matthew Guy; and 57% holding the view that the state was headed in the right direction, the highest of any state. Conversely, 53% of New South Wales respondents felt the state was heading in the wrong direction and only 35% believed the Perrottet government was doing a good job, the worst results for any state, although sample sizes in some cases would have been very small. The polling was conducted from August 31 to September 5 from a sample of 1502, 600 of whom were in Victoria.

Finally, the first batch of submissions – 212 of them – have been published from the Joint Standing Committe on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into the federal election. I haven’t had time to read any of them myself, but there are a good many notable names featured, though nothing yet from the parties.

Morgan: 53.5-46.5 to Labor (open thread)

One item of federal polling news plus confusion over the status of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

I don’t have a huge amount of material off which to hang the new open thread that is now past due, partly because a certain event has crowded other matters out of the media, but mostly because of a threadbare schedule of post-election opinion polling in which this is an off week. All we have on that score is the soon-to-be-superseded Roy Morgan weekly update, which tells us only that its latest voting intention poll comes in at 53.5-46.5 in favour of Labor, out from 52-48. This is at the high end of how the Albanese government has been doing from this particular series since it came to office, which has been substantially softer for it than the two results we’ve had from Newspoll and the one from Resolve Strategic.

The only other item of electoral news to relate is the confusing news of the United Australia Party’s self-deregistration. This came as a surprise to the party’s sole Senator, Ralph Babet, with Clive Palmer seemingly unclear as to whether the decision was made on his own initiative or that of the party’s supposedly independent executive committee. Palmer, who if Forbes is to be believed is worth $2.1 billion, told Matthew Killoran of the Courier-Mail that he wished to spare himself the barely existent expense of maintaining registration, and would re-register the party shortly before the next election, despite not planning to run himself.

However, electoral law maven Graeme Orr told the Age/Herald that he might be in for a disappointment on this score, as the electoral laws appear to leave the United Australia Party name off limits to him and anyone else for the remainder of the parliamentary term. Babet will continue to be identified as a Senator for the party for parliamentary purposes, which do not relate to the Australian Electoral Commission’s party registration process.

Essential Research and Morning Consult leadership ratings and more (open thread)

No signs of Anthony Albanese’s stock of goodwill depleting, plus further poll results on Morrison’s ministries and a federal integrity commission.

Essential Research continues its fortnightly polling series minus voting intention or numbers for Peter Dutton when it conducts its monthly leadership ratings, as it has done in the current poll. These record Anthony Albanese returning to his post-election peak on approval at 59%, up four, with disapproval down three to 25%. A monthly question on whether Australia is headed in the right direction is likewise back to where it was in the post-election result with a five point gain to 48%, with a two-point drop in wrong direction to 29%.

Further questions cover the Scott Morrison ministries saga, which find 51% believe the former Prime Minister should resign from parliament compared with 25% who disagree; 59% agree that the reputation of his government has been diminished, with 19% disagreeing; and 59% believe he should appear at the inquiry into the matter, with 18% disagreeing. Support for a federal integrity commission is at 76%, down two from October last year, with opposition up four to 15%. Further questions cover the powers such an institution should have, trust in health authorities, police, the justice system and federal parliament and the salience of state politics issues, and can be found in the full report. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1070.


• The tracking poll of international leaders’ personal ratings conducted by US firm Morning Consult continues to record no significant change for Anthony Albanese, who ended August on 58% approval and 28% disapproval, both up one on the end of July. The numbers from this series combine results of polling conducted over seven days from a sample of around 1000.

• In a report on kickboxer-turned-misogynist internet celebrity Andrew Tate, Benjamin Clark of Crikey highlights data from the Australian Cooperative Election Study showing that while younger women are more likely than older women to agree that more needs to be done to achieve gender equality (76.5% among those aged 18 to 34 compared with 58.4% among those 65 and over), the opposite is true of men (30.1% among the youngest cohort rising to 40.4% among the oldest). The 18-to-34 cohort was also the only one in which a significant gender distinction was observed on what I take to be the two-party preferred vote, with 67.5% of young women favouring Labor compared with 60.3% for men. Also featured is Gallup data from the United States showing young women have become markedly more likely to identify as liberal over the past decade (from 30% to nearly 45%) whereas the rate for men has remained steady at around 25%.

• An international survey by US concern Pew Research on “global threats and international co-operation” found Australia with the second biggest gap out of 14 countries between those on the political left and right with respect to the threat posed by climate change, respectively identified as a major threat by 91% and 47%. Far ahead of the rest in this respect was the United States, where only 22% of those on the right rated climate change a major threat compared with 85% on the left.

• The final score from the August 20 by-election in the Northern Territory seat of Fannie Bay was 1844 (52.6%) for Labor candidate Brent Potter and 1662 (47.4%) for Country Liberals candidate Ben Hosking, a swing against Labor of 7.0%. Next cabs off the by-election rank are the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke on Saturday, which is being contested by both Labor and Liberal, and the Western Australian seat of North West Central next week, to be contested by the Nationals and the Liberals with Labor sitting it out.

• I’ll be conducting an online seminar as part of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy’s Curtin Corner series from 6pm on Friday eastern standard time, specifically exploring the issue of where all the major party voters are going/have gone. You can register for live participation here, and a video will be posted after the event.

Newspoll: 57-43 to Labor (open thread)

Labor maintains its Newspoll dominance, with the Coalition primary vote and Peter Dutton’s personal ratings both heading in the wrong direction.

The Australian reports the second Newspoll since the election has produced an even weaker result for the Coalition than the first four weeks ago, with Labor’s two-party lead out from 56-44 to 57-43. Labor’s primary vote is steady at 37%, with the Coalition down two to 31% – their equal worst result in Newspoll history, matching the third poll under the Rudd government in February-March 2008 – with the Greens up one to 13%, One Nation up one to 7% (their strongest result in three years) and the United Australia Party steady on 2%.

Anthony Albanese is steady on 61% approval and up three on disapproval to 29%, while Peter Dutton is down two on approval to 35% and up two on disapproval to 43%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 59-25 to 61-22. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1505.

Polls: JWS Research, SEC Newgate and more (open thread)

Generally positive perceptions of the federal government combine with mounting concerns about the economy in two new attitudinal polls.

Three slabs of minor polling news in lieu of what I’d consider a proper federal opinion poll:

• The quarterly JWS Research True Issues survey of issue salience finds concerns about the cost of living have shot up since March, with 38% choosing it as one of the three issues the federal government should be most focused on, up from 16%. This pushes hospitals, health care and ageing to second place, down from 37% to 34%. Twenty per cent think the national economy headed in the right direction, down eight points since March, compared with 33% for wrong direction, up three, maintaining a downward trend going back to early last year. The new federal government scores 54% on an index score for its general performance, meaning it scored very slightly above par overall on a measure where respondents were asked to rank it on a five-point scale, which compares with 47% for the previous government in March. The survey was conducted August 12 to 15 from a sample of 1000.

• SEC Newgate’s monthly Mood of the Nation attitudinal polling, conducted from a sample of 1800, finds 47% consider the federal government is doing a good to excellent job, up eight points since June. Fifty-seven per cent expressed support for an indigenous voice to parliament, down one on May, with opposition at 19%, up three. There was a ten-point increase in positivity towards “Australia transitioning its electricity generation to renewables” since June, now at 70%, with 12% negatively disposed, down seven.

• Roy Morgan’s weekly update video informs us that its polling conducted from August 22 to 28 had Labor’s lead at 52-48, in from 53-47 a week earlier and a good deal narrower than recent results from Newspoll and Resolve Strategic. Primary votes are Labor 36% (down one-and-a-half), Coalition 39.5% (up one), Greens 10.5% (down one) and One Nation 4% (up one-and-a-half).

The Age/Herald has also trickled out the further results from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll:

• The government’s legislated target of a 43% reduction in carbon emissions was supported by 62%, including 27% who strongly supported it, and opposed by 19%, including 10% who were strongly opposed.

• The 500 New South Wales respondents from the poll included 56% who reckoned John Barilaro’s trade commissioner appointment a case of “jobs for the boys”, compared with only 14% for the alternative option that he was a worthy candidate in a fair process, and 45% who felt Dominic Perrottet had handled the matter badly compared with 27% who thought he had handled it well.

• The 500 Victorian respondents included 42% who credited state Labor with greater integrity and honesty compared with 21% for the Coalition, and 53% who expected Labor to win the election compared with 18% for the Coalition.

• Only 7% expect COVID-19 numbers to increase in the coming months, down from 20% in March; 33% expect roughly the same numbers “perhaps for months/years”, down six from March; and 42% expect numbers to decrease, up from 28%, which includes 25% who thought they would later come back again, up from 18%.

Hawks and doves (open thread)

A new poll from the Australia Institute poses many a hard question on the potential for conflict with China.

The Australian has today published a Newspoll result of state voting intention in Victoria, which I have added as an introductory note to my earlier post covering general electoral developments in the state. I am not sure what the deal is with Newspoll’s federal polling – plainly it has not returned to its earlier schedule of a poll every three weeks, as there would otherwise have been one on Monday.

We do have two new attitudinal polls from the Australia Institute, one posing an array of stimulating questions on the potential for conflict with China. This encompassed both an Australian sample of 1003 and a Taiwanese sample of 1002, the survey work being conducted by international market research firm Dynata.

Among many other things, the Australian end of the survey found 47% expecting a Chinese armed attack on Australia either soon (9%) or “sometime” (38%), with only 19% opting for never and 33% uncommitted. Twenty-one per cent felt Australia would be able to defend itself from China without international assistance, compared with 60% who thought otherwise, and 57% anticipate such support would be forthcoming from the United States compared with 11% who didn’t and 19% who opted for “it depends”. Thirty-five per cent would back the US and Australia to win such a conflict compared with 8% for lose and 26% for a draw of some description.

Thirty-seven per cent felt the Australian people would be prepared to go to war if China threatened military action against Australia, effectively equal to the 38% who thought otherwise. Twenty-six per cent were prepared for Australia to go to war to help Taiwan gain independence compared with 33% who weren’t and 41% for uncommitted. Framed a little differently, 14% strongly agreed and 23% less strongly agreed that Australia should “send its defence forces to Taiwan to fight for their freedom … if China incorporated Taiwan”, compared with 20% for disagree and 9% for strongly disagree.

The Taiwanese end of the survey is beyond this site’s scope, thought it’s interesting to note that 41% felt optimistic with respect to the future for Taiwan compared with 40% for neutral and only 20% for pessimistic. The survey was conducted between August 13 and 16 – Nancy Pelosi’s visit was on August 2 and China’s military exercises followed from August 4 to 7.

A second report from the Australia Institute provides results of a poll conducted back in April on the seemingly less pressing subject of “wokeness”, a concept that meant nothing to 43% of those surveyed, ranging from only 22% of those aged 18 to 29 to 59% of those aged 60 and over. Forty-nine per cent of the former cohort owned up to being woke, decreasing with arithmetic precision to 9% for the latter, while around 30% for each of the five age cohorts identified as “not woke”. Interestingly, Coalition and Labor voters produced similar results, with Greens and One Nation voters deviating in the manner you would expect. The poll was conducted from April 5 to 8 from a sample of 1003, so the sub-sample sizes for the results cited above are not great, however intuitively likely the results might be.


Anthony Galloway of the Sun-Herald identifies possible successors to Scott Morrison in Cook: Mark Speakman, moderate-aligned state Attorney-General and member for Cronulla; Melanie Gibbons, state member for Holsworthy, who unsuccessfully sought preselection for the Hughes at the federal election; Carmelo Pesce, the mayor of Sutherland Shire; and Alex Cooke, identified only as a “party member”.

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has called for submissions to its inquiry into the 2022 federal election. Matters specifically touched up on by the terms of reference include political donation and truth-in-advertising laws, enfranchisement of New Zealand citizens living in Australia and “proportional representation of the states and territories in the parliament”, the latter seemingly referring to the possibility of adding extra seats for the territories in the Senate.

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a “quick guide” on the technicalities of when the next federal election might be held, together with a handy calendar showing when state and local elections are due through to 2006.

• No fewer than twelve candidates have nominated for Western Australia’s North West Central by-election on September 17, with Labor not among them, for a seat with only 11,189 voters. As well as the Nationals and the Liberals, there are two candidates of the Western Australia Party, one being hardy perennial Anthony Fels, plus the Greens, One Nation, Legalise Cannabis, Liberal Democrats, No Mandatory Vaccination, the Small Business Party and two independents. My guide to the by-election can be found here.