BludgerTrack: 53.8-46.2 to Labor

A lurch back to Labor in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, plus further polling tidbits and preselection news aplenty.

The addition of this week’s Newspoll and Essential Research polls have ended a period of improvement for the Coalition in BludgerTrack, which records a solid shift to Labor this week. Labor’s two-party lead is now 53.8-46.2, out from 53.1-46.9 last week, and they have made two gains on the seat projection, one in New South Wales and one in Queensland. Despite that, the Newspoll leadership numbers have resulted in an improvement in Scott Morrison’s reading on the net approval trend. Full results are available through the link below – if you can’t get the state breakdown tabs to work, try doing a hard refresh.

National polling news:

• A poll result from Roy Morgan circulated earlier this week, although there’s no mention of it on the company’s website. The primary votes are Labor 36%, Coalition 34.5% and Greens 12.5%, which pans out to a Labor lead of 54-46 using past preference flows (thanks Steve777). Morgan continues to conduct weekly face-to-face polling, but the results are only made public when Gary Morgan has a point to make – which on this occasion is that Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party is on all of 1%. One Nation doesn’t do great in the poll either, recording 3%. The poll was conducted over two weekends from a sample of 1673.

• The Australian had supplementary questions from this week’s Newspoll on Tuesday, which had Scott Morrison favoured over Bill Shorten by 48-33 on the question of best leader handle the economy – little different from his 50-32 lead in October, or the size of the lead consistently held by Malcolm Turnbull. It also found 33% saying the government should prioritise funding of services, compared with 27% for cutting personal income tax and 30% for paying down debt.

• The Australian also confused me by publishing, together with the Newspoll voting intention numbers on Monday, results on franking credits and “reducing tax breaks for investors” – derived not from last weekend’s poll, but earlier surveys in December and November (UPDATE: Silly me – the next column along is the total from the latest poll). The former found 48% opposed to Labor’s franking credits policy and 30% in support, compared with 50% and 33% when it was first floated in March (UPDATE: So the latest poll actually has support back up five to 35% and opposition down two to 38%). Respondents were instructed that the policy was “expected to raise $5.5 billion a year from around 900,000 Australians that receive income from investments in shares”, which I tend to think is friendlier to Labor than a question that made no effort to explain the policy would have been. The tax breaks produced a stronger result for Labor, with 47% in favour and 33% opposed, although this was down on 54% and 28% in April (UPDATE: Make that even better results for Labor – support up four to 51%, opposition down one to 32%).

With due recognition of Kevin Bonham’s campaign against sketchy reports of seat polling, let the record note the following:

Ben Packham of The Australian reports Nationals polling shows them in danger of losing Page to Labor and Cowper to Rob Oakeshott. Part of the problem, it seems, is a minuscule recognition rating for the party’s leader, one Michael McCormack.

• There’s a uComms/ReachTEL poll of Flinders for GetUp! doing the rounds, conducted on Wednesday from a sample of 634, which has Liberal member Greg Hunt on 40.7%, an unspecified Labor candidate on 29.4% and ex-Liberal independent Julia Banks on 16.1%. That would seem to put the result down to the wild card of Banks’ preference flows. There was apparently a respondent-allocated two-party figure with the result, but I haven’t seen it. UPDATE: Turns out it was 54-46 in favour of Greg Hunt, which seems a bit much.

• The West Australian reported last weekend that a uComms/ReachTel poll for GetUp! had Christian Porter leading 52-48 in Pearce, which is above market expectations for him.

• Another week before, The West Australian reported Labor internal polling had it with a 51.5-48.5 lead in Stirling.

Preselection news:

• Following Nigel Scullion’s retirement announcement last month, the Northern Territory News reports a field of eight nominees for his Country Liberal Party Senate seat: Joshua Burgoyne, an Alice Springs electrician, who was earlier preselected for the second position on the ticket behind Scullion; Bess Price, who held the remote seat of Stuart in the territory parliament from 2012 to 2016, and whose high-profile daughter Jacinta Price is the party’s candidate for Lingiari; Tony Schelling, a financial adviser; Tim Cross, former general manager of NT Correctional Industries; Gary Haslett, a Darwin councillor; Kris Civitarese, deputy mayor of Tennant Creek; Linda Fazldeen, from the Northern Territory’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation; and Bill Yan, general manager at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

Andrew Burrell of The Australian reports Liberal nominees to succeed Michael Keenan in Stirling include Vince Connelly, Woodside Petroleum risk management adviser and former army officer; Joanne Quinn, a lawyer for Edith Cowan University; Michelle Sutherland, a teacher and the wife of Michael Sutherland, former state member for Mount Lawley; Georgina Fraser, a 28-year-old “oil and gas executive”; and Taryn Houghton, “head of community engagement at a mental health service, HelpingMinds”. No further mention of Tom White, general manager of Uber in Japan and a former adviser to state MP and local factional powerbroker Peter Collier, who was spruiked earlier. The paper earlier reported that Karen Caddy, a former Rio Tinto engineer, had her application rejected after state council refused to give her the waiver required for those who were not party members of one year’s standing.

• The Nationals candidate for Indi is Mark Byatt, a Wodonga-based manager for Regional Development Victoria.

Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor

Shortly after Newspoll found the Coalition’s tentative momentum grinding to a halt, Essential gives them their worst result since August.

Essential Research has come out with a second poll in consecutive weeks, the previous one having departed from its normal practice in having a longer field work period and a later release, tailored to work around the interruption of the long weekend. Coming after a period in which a media narrative of Labor taking on water over franking credits has taken hold, the results of the latest poll are striking: the Coalition has sunk four points on the primary vote to 34%, Labor is up two to 38%, the Greens and One Nation are steady on 10% and 7% respectively, and Labor’s two-party lead has blown out from 52-48 to 55-45. Other questions relate to the banking royal commission: you can read more about them from The Guardian, or await for Essential’s full report, which I assume will be with us later today.

UPDATE: Full report here. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1067.

Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor

The second Newspoll for the year finds no continuation of the Coalition’s recent improving trend.

After a period of improving poll results for the Coalition, the latest Newspoll records a tiny shift on primary votes to Labor, but not another to alter their existing lead of 53-47 from a fortnight ago. Labor is up one point on the primary vote to 39%, after a three-point drop last time, while the Coalition is steady on 37%, retaining their two-point gain in the last poll. The Greens are steady on 9%, while One Nation is down a point to 5%, the lowest it’s been in a year. Scott Morrison’s personal ratings are improved, with approval up three to 43% and disapproval down two to 45%, and his lead as prime minister out from 43-36 to 44-35. Bill Shorten is down one on approval to 36% and up one on disapproval to 51%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1567.

BludgerTrack: 53.1-46.9 to Labor

The one new poll for the week maintains the trend of incremental improvement for the Coalition.

First up, please note the threads below this one dealing with state politics in South Australia and New South Wales.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate continues to inch in the Coalition’s direction with the addition of the Essential Research poll, the only one published this week. Whereas Labor finished 2018 with a lead of 54.4-45.6, the latest result has it at 53.1-46.9, which is a 0.4% shift compared with a week ago. However, this only makes one seat’s difference on the seat projection, with a projected gain for the Coalition in New South Wales. No new results for the leadership ratings this week.

Full results are available through the link below. There is a bit of bug here that often stops the state breakdowns from loading when you click on the tabs – I will get around to fixing this one day, but for the time being, it should work if you do a hard refresh.

Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

More evidence of a narrowing trend federally from Essential Research, albeit based on small shifts in the primary vote.

The Guardian reports the first result from Essential Research in three weeks has Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, down from 53-47 last time. The changes on the primary vote are slight, with the Coalition up a point to 38% and Labor steady on 36% (CORRECTION: the Coalition is steady, and Labor down two). The Guardian report notes that Essential has changed the provider of the online panel from which its respondents are drawn from YourSource to Qualtrics, without changing the underlying methodology. Perhaps relatedly, the sample size is identified as 1652, where in the past it has been a little over 1000. The Guardian provides no further findings from attitudinal questions – we’ll see if the release of the main report later today provides anything on that front, along with the minor party primary votes.

UPDATE: Full report here. No change for the minor parties, with the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 7%. The poll was conducted between January 23 and January 31 – I’m not sure if this was a contingency for the long weekend, but in the past Essential’s field work dates have been Thursday to Sunday. Other findings:

• When presented with a number of explanations for a lack of gender parity in politics, the most favoured responses relate to the failures of political parties, and the least favoured relates to “experience and skills”. Gender quotas for parties have 46% support and 40% opposition, with age interestingly more determinative of attitudes here than gender.

• There are a number of questions on Australia Day, the most useful of which is a finding that 52% support a separate national day to recognise indigenous Australians, including 15% who want that day to replace Australia Day, with 40% opposed.

• Respondents were presented with various groups and asked who they felt they would prefer to see win the election. The most interesting findings are that the media was perceived as favouring the Coalition by 32% and 25%; that despite all the recent talk, pensioners were perceived to favour Labor by a margin of 42% to 28%; and that families with young children were perceived as favouring Labor by 50% to 21%.

UPDATE 2: It turns out that both the longer field work period and the larger sample were a one-off, to it will be back to Thursday to Sunday and samples of a bit over 1000 in future polls.

BludgerTrack: 53.5-46.5 to Labor

The Coalition’s improved performance in the first Newspoll of the year makes little difference to the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. Also featured: a closer look at a recent union-commissioned poll of Greg Hunt’s seat of Flinders.

This week’s two-point move in Newspoll excited a certain amount of talk about a Coalition recovery, but it hasn’t impressed the BludgerTrack poll aggregate – the result landed pretty much bang on where it was already, being well in line with the only othe result published so far this year, namely the Essential Research poll of a fortnight ago. As such, the aggregate records a 0.2% shift in the Coalition’s favour on two-party preferred, no movements on the primary vote greater than 0.4%, and a one seat gain for the Coalition on the seat projection in Queensland. The leadership trends have Bill Shorten up a bit on net approval, but little change for Scott Morrison either on either his net approval or preferred prime minister lead. Full results through the link below:

I can also provide further detail on the uComms/ReachTEL poll from the seat of Flinders that was conducted last week for the CFMMEU and reported over the weekend. Labor’s two-party lead of 51-49 compares with Hunt’s redistribution-adjusted winning margin of 57.1-42.9 from 2016, and derives from a respondent-allocated preference split that gives Labor 62.7% of minor party and independent preferences. Labor’s share of the preferences in 2016 was 71.1%, which if applied to the primary vote numbers from this poll boosts Labor’s lead to 53-47. Compared with my own post-redistribution estimates from 2016, the primary votes from the poll have Greg Hunt down from 50.7% to 39.4%, Labor up from 27.4% to 35.2%, the Greens down from 11.2% to 9.1%, and One Nation debuting on 5.7%. All of which has been superseded to some extent by this week’s announcement that Julia Banks, the Liberal-turned-independent member for Chisholm, will be running in the seat.