Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Essential Research supports Newspoll’s finding that concern is growing about immigration, but not its finding that the Coalition’s electoral position has improved.

As reported by The Guardian, the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll brings no change on two-party preferred, with Labor maintaining its 53-47 lead. As always, primary votes will be with us later today. The poll also contains a suite of findings on immigration, which concur with Newspoll in finding the existing level is perceived as too high. Sixty-four per cent rated there had been too much immigration over the past decade, compared with 50% when the question was last asked in October 2016, and 54% considered the rate of population growth too fast, up from 45% in 2013. Forty-seven per cent wanted fewer short-term working visas, which 63% believed undermined the capacity of Australians to find work, and 62% agreed with the proposition that immigration should be wound back until the necessary infrastructure is in place. Nonetheless, 55% supported the proposition that “multiculturalism and cultural diversity has enriched the social and economic lives of all Australians”, and 61% felt immigration had made a positive contribution overall.

UPDATE: Full report here. Coalition down one to 37%, Labor down one to 36%, Greens up one to 11%, One Nation up one to 8%.

Next federal election pendulum (provisional)

A pendulum for the next federal election, assuming new draft boundaries in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT are adopted as is.

Following the recent publication of draft new boundaries for Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, we now have some idea of what the state of play will be going into the next election, albeit that said boundaries are now subject to a process of public submissions and possible revision. The only jurisdictions that will retain their boundaries from the 2016 election will be New South Wales and Western Australia, redistributions for Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory having been done and dusted since the last election.

The next election will be for a House of Representatives of 151 seats, ending a period with 150 seats that began in 2001. This is down to rounding in the formula by which states’ populations are converted into seat entitlements, which on this occasion caused Victoria to gain a thirty-seventh seat and the Australian Capital Territory to tip over to a third, balanced only by the loss of a seat for South Australia, which has now gone from thirteen to ten since the parliament was enlarged to roughly its present size in 1984.

The changes have been generally favourable to Labor, most noticeably in that the new seat in Victoria is a Labor lock on the western edge of Melbourne, and a third Australian Capital Territory seat amounts to three safe seats for Labor where formerly there were two. The ACT previously tipped over for a third seat at the 1996 election, but the electorate of Namadji proved short-lived, with the territory reverting to two seats in 1998, and remaining just below the threshold ever since. The Victorian redistribution has also made Dunkley in south-eastern Melbourne a notionally Labor seat, and has brought Corangamite, now to be called Cox, right down to the wire. Antony Green’s and Ben Raue’s estimates have it fractionally inside the Coalition column; mine has it fractionally tipping over to Labor.

The table at the bottom is a pendulum-style listing of the new margins, based on my own determinations for the finalisised and draft redistributions. The outer columns record the margin changes in the redistributions, where applicable (plus or minus Coalition or Labor depending on which side of the pendulum they land). Since I have Cox/Corangamite in the Labor column, I get 77 seats in the Coalition column, including three they don’t hold (Mayo, held by Rebekha Sharkie of the Nick Xenophon Team, and Indi and Kennedy, held by independents Cathy McGowan and Bob Katter), and 74 in the Labor column, including two they don’t hold (Andrew Wilkie’s seat of Clark, as Denison will now be called, and Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne).

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BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

In the week of the magic number thirty Newspoll, some polling-related consolation for Malcolm Turnbull.

After Malcolm Turnbull’s worst week for polling news since the election, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate finds Labor’s lead at its narrowest in some time. The three results out this week included a Newspoll that had the Coalition ahead of Labor on the primary vote, something they have only managed a handful of times in the past year; a high-end-of-average result from Ipsos that included a 50-50 respondent-allocated two-party result, indicating a strong flow of preferences to the Coalition, which factors into the BludgerTrack preference model; and a par for the course result from Essential Research. Equally importantly, these new results displace a particularly bad data point from the Coalition from ReachTEL on March 28.

On the seat projection, the Coalition is up one each in New South Wales and Victoria, and two in Western Australia. While Western Australia continues to record the largest swing, BludgerTrack’s recent double-digit blowout appears to have been a burst of statistical noise. A precis of the results can be seen on the sidebar, but the real deal is the link through the image below:

South Australian draft federal redistribution

Port Adelaide nominated for the chop in draft federal boundaries for South Australia, which bring the state down from 11 seats to 10.

The Australian Electoral Commission has published draft boundaries for the South Australian redistribution, which brings the state’s representation down from 11 seats to 10. The seat mooted for abolition is Port Adelaide; Wakefield is to be renamed Spence. At the bottom is a table featuring my estimates of party vote shares and two-party margins (Labor versus Liberal only).

Adelaide. Drifts westwards into the void created by the abolition of Port Adelaide, turning a tight Labor seat into a reasonably safe one.

Barker. Gains Barossa Valley territory around Kapunda.

Boothby. Drawn northwards into Glenelg through knock-on effects from Port Adelaide abolition, without much change to the margin.

Grey. Expends to the northern edge of Adelaide, gaining Clare Valley, with next to no impact on the margin.

Hindmarsh. Takes the bulk of Port Adelaide, turning the seat from marginal to safe Labor.

Kingston. Loses coast at southern end around Aldinga Beach, gains suburbia at northern end around Aberfoyle Park. Slightly advantageous to Liberal, but not enough to make them competitive on recent form.

Makin. Expands west to take over some Port Adelaide territory, notably Parafield Gardens.

Mayo. Not abolished, as some expected; gains the Aldinga Beach coastal area lost by Kingston.

Spence (Wakefield). Greatly strengthened for Labor through loss of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley to Grey and Barker respectively, and gain of suburbs around Paralowie from Port Adelaide.

Sturt. Gains Norwood at western end from Adelaide, with little impact on margin.

LIB change ALP change XEN change LIB 2pp vs ALP change
Adelaide 34.4% -2.1% 42.8% 6.9% 12.5% -0.3% 41.1% -4.3%
Barker 47.3% 0.8% 15.9% 0.7% 29.0% -0.1% 64.4% -0.8%
Boothby 44.4% 3.2% 27.7% 3.2% 18.3% -2.4% 52.8% -0.7%
Grey 44.7% 1.9% 22.4% 0.8% 27.2% -0.6% 58.6% -0.1%
Hindmarsh 33.5% -6.8% 43.4% 9.4% 16.4% 1.4% 41.8% -7.6%
Kingston 27.2% 3.9% 50.0% 0.6% 17.7% 0.5% 36.5% 3.5%
Makin 28.6% 0.0% 46.3% 4.5% 16.2% -0.4% 39.2% -1.2%
Mayo 37.7% -0.1% 16.4% 2.9% 33.8% -1.1% 53.3% -2.1%
Port Adelaide Abolished
Spence/Wakefield 20.4% -6.0% 49.4% 9.6% 20.1% -0.4% 32.1% -6.9%
Sturt 47.4% 3.0% 23.5% 1.3% 19.7% -1.4% 55.7% -0.1%

Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Essential Research yet again records a solid lead for Labor on two-party preferred, but finds Malcolm Turnbull moving clear as preferred Liberal leader.

The Guardian, which joins the fun by spruiking the result as the “eightieth straight loss” for the Turnbull government, reports that Labor holds a lead of 53-47 in the latest Essential Research poll, out from 52-48 a fortnight ago. The poll also features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which find Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister unchanged at 41-26 (a growing contrast with the narrow results from Newspoll); a 39% approval rating for Turnbull, down two, and a disapproval rating of 42%, down one; and a 35% approval rating for Bill Shorten, down two, and a disapproval rating of 43%, down one.

A question on preferred Liberal leader finds Turnbull moving clear of Julie Bishop since the last such result in December – he’s up three to 24%, with Bishop down two to 17%. Both are well clear of the more conservative alternatives of Tony Abbott, on 11% (up one) and 3% (down one). Scott Morrison scores only 2%, unchanged on last time. When asked who they would prefer in the absence of Turnbull, 26% opted for Bishop and 16% for Abbott, with Dutton and Morrison both on 5%. Also featured is an occasional question on leaders’ attributes, but I would want to see the raw numbers before drawing any conclusions from them. Those should be with us, along with primary votes, when Essential Research publishes its full report later today.

UPDATE: Full report here. The primary votes are Coalition 38%, Labor 37% (up one), Greens 10% (up one), One Nation 7% (down one).

Also today, courtesy of The Australian, are results from the weekend’s Newspoll which find support for a republic at 50%, down one since last August, with opposition up three to 41%. With the qualification of Prince Charles ascending the throne, support rises to 55%, unchanged since August, while opposition is at 35%, up one.

Ipsos: 52-48 to Labor

A new poll from Ipsos just about does for Malcolm Turnbull what he can apparently only dream of from Newspoll.

Two days out from the one we’ve all been waiting for, Fairfax has cutely interjected with an Ipsos poll – conducted on this most special of occasions from Tuesday to Thursday for publication on Friday night, and not from Thursday to Saturday for publication on Sunday night as standard. The sample is 1166, somewhat lower than the usual 1400 from Ipsos.

The headline two-party result of 52-48 to Labor, as determined using 2016 election preference flows, is only slightly above the Coalition’s usual form – but Malcolm Turnbull is given a very useful straw to grasp with a tied result using respondent-allocated preferences. This is something the Coalition hasn’t achieved on either kind of two-party measure in any poll since September 2016, except for the quirky and apparently short-lived YouGov series for Fifty Acres. The previous Ipsos poll in early December had Labor leading 53-47 on previous election preferences and 52-48 on respondent allocation. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up two to 36%, Labor is up a point to 34%, and the Greens are down a point to 12% (high results for the Greens being a consistent features of Ipsos polls).

The good news for Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t end there: the poll finds only 28% in favour of the Liberals removing him as leader, compared with 62% who think he should remain, and his approval rating bounces five points to 47%, with disapproval down six to 43%. This is the first time since April last year that Turnbull has recorded net favourable personal ratings – the previous instance being another Ipsos poll, which is no coincidence, since the series consistently records high approval and low undecided ratings for both leaders. Bill Shorten is steady on 38% approval and up one on disapproval to 53%. The poll also finds 49% support for company tax cuts, with the number opposed not provided. This is dramatically more favourable than ReachTEL’s finding of 29% in favour and 56% opposed, although recent Essential Research polls have had slight net favourable results.

We have also had Roy Morgan publish results of its face-to-face polling for the second fortnight a row, which the pollster has hitherto been reserving for its massively expensive subscriber service since the 2016 election campaign. I’m not sure if this portends a regular return to publication, or if it will be appearing on an ad hoc basis, as the release a fortnight ago seemed to suggest. Whatever it is, the result is likewise on the high side for the Coalition, with Labor holding a steady 51-49 lead on two-party preferred. This is in contrast to the form of the Morgan face-to-face series of old, which was notorious for its skew to Labor.

However, as with Ipsos, it’s respondent allocation that’s making the difference – if previous election preferences were applied, Labor’s lead would be up from 51-49 to 53-47. The primary votes are Coalition 38.5%, down from 40% a fortnight ago; Labor 37.5%, up from 35%; Greens 11%, down from 12%; and One Nation on an unusually weak 3%, down from 3.5%. The Morgan release has two-party breakdowns by state and income category. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends from a combined sample of 1477.