Morgan SMS exit poll: 51-49 to Labor

I’m not ready to endorse the methodology being used here, but just out interest, let it be noted Morgan has produced an obviously premature SMS exit poll showing Labor on 38.5 per cent, the Coalition on 43 per cent and the Greens on 12 per cent, with Labor leading 51-49 on two-party preferred. Stay tuned this evening for live blogging and a CoverIt Live chat room featuring myself and other Crikey types.

At 1pm today a special sms Morgan ‘Exit’ Poll shows the primary vote is ALP 38.5% , L-NP 43%, Greens 12% and 6.5% Others and Independents. On a 2 Party Preferred basis this still translates to 51% ALP 49% L-NP as reported in the 7News Morgan Poll last night and this morning on Sunrise.

This 1pm update is based on 1,211 electors from The Roy Morgan Elector Panel who have texted their vote to the Morgan Poll once they had voted.

This is the first time that an sms vote on a controlled panel has been recorded through the election.

Because the original panel is controlled, and their previous voting intention and their vote at the last election is known it is possible to project from the sms ‘exit’ poll to an Australia-wide vote.

Gary Morgan says:

We are pleased with the response to this new sms ‘exit’ poll methodology.

Although this Morgan Poll uses sms technology, it is unlike typical sms voting systems that are open to all and therefore potentially open to interest groups ‘stacking’ the numbers. The sms Morgan ‘Exit’ Poll uses a controlled panel – The Roy Morgan Elector Panel.

UPDATE: Quick and dirty exit poll summary, with thanks to Scorpio in comments.

This all looks good so far. I like Possum’s comment.

KJBar RT @Pollytics Galaxy exit poll – ALP 52/48. All exit polls consistent. #ausvotes

SkyNewsAust Sky News exit poll 2PP LAB 51%, COA 49% – watch online here: http://bit.ly/ojmm3

Pollytics The Auspoll exit poll of 30 marginal seats going to Labor 51/49 simulates out as ~82 seats in Parliament #ausvotes

Pollytics The Auspoll shows only a half a percent swing on those 30 marginals #ausvotes

Newspoll, Nielsen, Westpoll

So …

• GhostWhoVotes reports Nielsen has Labor ahead 52-48, from primary votes of 39 per cent for Labor, 41.5 per cent for the Coalition and 13 per cent for the Greens.

The Australian reports the 2500-sample Newspoll we were shown two-thrds of yesterday panned out to 50.2-49.8, the decimal place being a feature of Newspoll’s final polling since about two years ago.

• Westpoll/Patterson Market Research has polled 400 voters in each of Canning, Hasluck, Swan and Cowan, putting the Liberals narrowly ahead in each: 51-49, 52-48, 52-48 and 53-47 respectively. Canning aside, where Alannah MacTiernan is clearly doing exceptionally well in narrowing down a 4.3 per cent Liberal margin, the figures point to a swing against Labor of about 2.5 per cent within a margin of error of under 3 per cent.

UPDATE: Newspoll state breakdowns show the shift they have recorded against Labor has been driven by a collapse in Queensland, where their two-party vote is down six points on last week to 42 per cent, and New South Wales, where they are down four to 48 per cent. This points to election-losing swings of 8.4 per cent an 6.2 per cent. And yet the poll also finds Labor climbing still higher in Victoria for a swing of 3.7 per cent, maintaining their 3.6 per cent swing in South Australia, and recovering four points to their 2007 level of support in Western Australia. After appearing to reverse her decline last week, Gillard’s disapproval has shot up five points to 43 per cent, almost equal with her steady 44 per cent approval. State results vary from plus-22 net approval in South Australia to minus-16 in Queensland. However, Tony Abbott’s disapproval is also up four points to 50 per cent, and his disapproval down one to 42 per cent. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 50-35 to 50-37.

UPDATE 2: Kevin Bonham in comments notes that the Queensland result looks very much an outlier, and if it was replaced with the state’s trend figure the national result would be 50.8-49.2 in favour of Labor. This of course would normally be rounded to 51-49.

UPDATE 3: While a nation waits in breathless anticipation of the result in Boothby, The Advertiser offers … a poll of Hindmarsh. This predictably has Labor well ahead, although the size of the margin – 62-38 from a swing of 7 per cent – is interesting.

UPDATE 4: Roy Morgan has done a very strange thing – recontacted the 187 undecided voters (fair enough) and Greens voters (huh?) from their recent poll to check if they had made up or changed their minds, and reassigned their vote choices accordingly. Their figures thus record Greens votes shifting to other parties, but not other votes shifting to the Greens.

UPDATE 5: A late situation report.

New South Wales. The final Newspoll has the swing at 6.2 per cent, and while this seems to be what Labor is bracing for in western Sydney, the result is well clear of what is expected statewide. Nielsen and Morgan both have it at 3 per cent. A swing of that size in Sydney alone would cost Labor Macquarie, Macarthur and Bennelong, and the expectation that these seats will indeed be lost has become almost universal over the past few days. There is also an emerging consensus that two further Sydney seats on much larger margins, Lindsay and Greenway, are being swept away on a late surge to the Coalition. However, Imre Salusinszky of The Australian suggests the backlash against Labor ends at the city limits. Robertson is rated “the only regional seat in NSW where Labor regards itself in deep trouble” (Gilmore evidently doesn’t count), and even there the result is 50-50. Labor is thus expected to retain Eden-Monaro, Dobell and Page, and if this proves wrong they can kiss the election goodbye. There would also remain the vague hope for Labor of a boilover in Liberal-held Robertson.

Victoria. Meanwhile, the swing to Labor in Victoria is at the very least holding firm: Newspoll has it at 3.7 per cent, Morgan at 0.7 per cent. Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a Liberal source talking of a stronger-than-anticipated swing driven by “resentment in the southern states towards the almost-maniacal focus on western Sydney and Queensland”. Certainly Labor is expected at a bare minimum to win McEwen, and are generally rated favourites to take La Trobe. Beyond that pickings in Victoria are slim, though there are dim hopes Dunkley or Aston might prove a bolter. Conversely, Labor are by no means a foregone conclusion of retaining Corangamite, which looms as a must-win for them in every sense of the term. Labor are all but giving away Melbourne to Greens candidate Adam Bandt, who could find himself in a very interesting position over the coming week or two.

Queensland. Newspoll has set a cat among the pigeons by showing a lethal swing against Labor of 8.4 per cent and a primary vote below 30 per cent. However, this is sharply at odds with Nielsen’s 3 per cent and Morgan’s 4.4 per cent. Should it come in at the lower end of expectations, Labor could yet save quite a bit of furniture. I believe Peter Brent is overselling his point in saying “sophomore surge” means the Coalition is more likely to lose from a majority of the vote than Labor, but there’s no question this phenomenon warrants more attention than it has been given. At the 1998, members of John Howard’s class of 1996 facing re-election for the first time experienced an average swing 1.1 per cent lower than the overall swing in their state. Similarly, the 19 Labor MPs ushered into the Victorian parliament by the Steve Bracks landslide of 2002 out-performed the statewide swing by 1.4 per cent at the 2006 election. Should that pattern be repeated this time, it would be an enormous boon to Labor in Queensland where sophomores are defending eight seats, including six on margins of 4.5 per cent or less. Labor could thus be confident of holding back the tide in a couple of seats with margins under the statewide swing. The consensus is fuzzy about individual outcomes, with seemingly only Leichhardt and notionally Labor Dickson on everybody’s list. Most feature any or all out of Flynn, Dawson, Longman and notionally Labor Herbert. Speaking on The Drum, Annabel Crabb noted Labor had been surprised how little attention the Liberal National Party had been paying to Bonner, Petrie, Brisbane and Moreton, but of these it seems only Moreton is entirely safe.

Western Australia. The best guess is that Labor will suffer frustrating defeats in every WA marginal, with Canning, Hasluck, Swan, Cowan and Stirling all emerging in the 0 to 5 per cent zone on the Liberal side of the pendulum. The seat most likely to buck the trend is Canning, which speaks volumes for Alannah MacTiernan’s performance given its 4.3 per cent margin. Labor would still be holding out hope of an upset in Swan or Hasluck. The latter if not the former can probably be relied upon to closely track the statewide swing, which the late polls can’t agree on: Newspoll says 0.3 per cent to Labor and Nielsen says 4 per cent to the Coalition, while the result from Morgan’s small sample came in at 1.2 per cent to the Coalition.

South Australia. Newspoll has the Labor swing in South Australia at 3.7 per cent, which seems on the high side, but we also have an Advertiser poll for the seat of Hindmarsh putting it at 7 per cent. That should make both Sturt and Boothby highly winnable for Labor, but there is a near universal view that Christopher Pyne’s expensive campaign for the former has paid dividends. Boothby on the other hand is expected to go down to the wire.

Elsewhere. There is limited local polling data available, but it is very widely expected that Darwin-based Solomon will be lost to Labor. In Tasmania, a big ticket campaign promise earlier this week suggested the Liberals have not given up on Bass, but most expect Labor to again obtain a clean sweep of the state’s five seats. Certainly they can afford nothing less.

Morgan phone poll: 51-49 to Labor

Morgan have produced a phone poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from an impressive sample of 1872, and it has Labor with a 51-49 lead. The primary votes are 38 per cent Labor, 42 per cent Coalition and 13 per cent Greens. Small-sample state breakdowns have swings against Labor of 3.2 per cent in New South Wales, 4.4 per cent in Queensland and 1.2 per cent in WA, and swings towards them of 0.7 per cent in Victoria and 1.6 per cent in South Australia. All of which is consistent with the general picture. The margins of error are 2 per cent for the national result, and about 5 per cent for the state breakdowns.

Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Essential Research has come good with a final set of polling figures, and in two-party terms they’re no different from Monday’s, with Labor leading 51-49. Both parties are down a point on the primary vote, Labor to 38 per cent and the Coalition to 43 per cent, with the Greens up two to 12 per cent. The poll also gauges reasons for vote choice, whether respondents’ opinions of the leaders have gone up or down since the election was called (down in both cases) and firmness of vote, the latter confirming the impression of other polls that Labor support is “softer” than for the Coalition. I am also informed The West Australian will tonight publish a Westpoll that will show Labor trailing in Hasluck and Swan, but 50-50 in the race to nab Canning from the Liberals. Then there’s this from the Courier-Mail:

Labor began the campaign with a worst-case scenario of the Coalition winning 10 Queensland seats. But party sources now believe the loss could be contained to three Queensland seats. This comes as internal ALP polling this week suggests as many as eight or nine seats could fall in NSW. LNP sources confirmed that late deciding voters were opting for Labor in many Queensland marginals. The LNP’s only “almost certain” gains have narrowed to Leichhardt, Flynn and Dawson. But Labor sources dispute Dawson, where they say they have their nose in front. But they say the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor seat of Forde would be “extremely hard” to retain. Labor also is worried about the bayside seat of Bonner and the Townsville-based seat of Herbert but is confident of holding Longman, Petrie and Brisbane.

My reading of the situation is that Labor’s position in Sydney seems to have soured over the final week, with the Parramatta-to-Epping rail promise looking like another tactical blunder that has succeeded only in shackling federal Labor closer to the state government. Bennelong is almost universally rated as lost for Labor, Lindsay will probably go too, and there might even be trouble for them in Greenway. However, the picture elsewhere seems to be as it was the other night when I made my prediction of 79 seats for Labor, which included Bennelong and Lindsay, plus one for the Greens – although there is now also the question of whether Longman MP Jon Sullivan’s self-inflicted wound will prove fatal. But there are more than enough seats in serious doubt one way or the other to make the situation very unclear. Martin O’Shannessy of Newspoll was quoted in The Australian today saying the “rusted on” vote at the current time is about 10 per cent lower than usual at about 60 per cent. The Australian’s Samantha Maiden offered that “an estrogen-fuelled surge of female voters has been cited as the secret weapon Gillard can count on to fall over the line”.

Finally, the Australian Financial Review has gone to the effort to check meteorological records on election days throughout Australian history, presumably to investigate the notion that a winter election might pose dangers for Labor in particular. However, what they found was that “70 per cent of federal governmetn defeats transpired when polling day – in autumn or summer – dawned dry across the country”.

D-day minus 1

For those of you who have just joined us, we have had overnight national results from Newspoll and Galaxy, who respectively have it at 50-50 (from primary votes of 35 per cent Labor, 44 per cent Coalition and 14 per cent Greens) and 52-48 in favour of Labor (38 per cent Labor, 41 per cent Coalition, 14 per cent Greens). Labor has also been openly hawking internal polling showing it set to lose seven seats in New South Wales and six in Queensland while gaining two in Victoria, which is surprising only in that the projected NSW losses are above market expectations.

Furthermore:

• The Canberra Times has published a Patterson Market Research poll for Eden-Monaro, and while it falls well short of the non-credible 61-39 produced by a similar poll at the start of the campaign, it shows Labor’s Mike Kelly with a 52-48 lead over Liberal candidate David Gazard. Both Kelly and Gazard are on 40 per cent of the primary vote, with the Greens on 8 per cent. Patterson also conducted a poll of Paterson (a marginal Liberal electorate on the central coast, for those of you who are confused), which interestingly turned up a Labor lead of 51-49. This squares almost perfectly with the JSW Research poll conducted over the weekend, and helps explain Julia Gillard’s visit to the electorate yesterday. However, both polls had a fairly small sample of 400 and margins of error of about 4 per cent. A similar poll conducted by IRIS Research for the Illawarra Mercury found Liberal member Joanna Gash with a resounding primary vote lead of 54 per cent to 32 per cent over Labor candidate Neil Reilly in Gilmore.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Bennelong’s gone,” said one Labor heavyweight as he listed seats believed lost and those that can be saved. The punters agree. A rush of bets towards the Liberal John Alexander and away from Maxine McKew has seen Mr Alexander storm from behind to become favourite in just 48 hours. The western suburbs seat of Lindsay, held by Labor’s David Bradbury, is also on the critical list. It is one of the few marginal seats which was not part of the comprehensive preference deal with the Greens because the local Greens refused to be part of the deal. Labor says should Lindsay be lost, this will be the reason why …

One senior Liberal source said there was a growing fear of a backlash against the Liberals in Victoria and possible South Australia, which would be stronger than anticipated. The reason he cited was growing resentment in the southern states towards the almost-maniacal focus on western Sydney and Queensland. The interests of these people has driven the entire election campaign and their concerns, which include boat people and immigration, are those most easily embraced by the Coalition. “We look like coming up four or five seats short,” a senior Liberal said. A senior Labor strategist said the very same thing yesterday. “Mate, if the election was today, we’d win 71 seats,” he said …

The campaign started well but week two was a disaster. That was when the damaging leaks against Ms Gillard appeared which claimed she had argued against pension rises and parental leave in cabinet. In one week, Labor’s primary vote fell 6 percentage points. In the marginals, the fall was as high as 9 points. “Ever since then, we’ve been trying to get back to where we started,” the heavyweight said. “She’s pulled it back a bit, but it’s tight. There is no margin of error in this.”

• The Liberals have made a late play for Bass, unloading what the Launceston Examiner describes as a “$62.5m Bass splash”: a $60 million early intervention mental-health unit for Launceston, and $2.5 million to address the Tamar River’s silt problem made unconditional on the provision of state funding.

• Labor’s member for Longman, Jon Sullivan, committed an appalling gaffe during a candidates’ forum on ABC Radio in Brisbane while responding to the father of a disabled child, who inquired what the government would do to reduce costs and waiting times for specialists. Sullivan asked the man: “What parent would wait two years to get a child, who they believe has a disability, to get to a specialist?” As the Courier-Mail reports it, he was “drowned out by jeers before he could finish his sentence”. Sullivan subsequently apologised to the man.

• Today’s editorials have split along fairly predictable lines: The Australian, all News Limited tabloids bar The Advertiser and The West Australian have backed the Coalition, while the Fairfax broadsheets and the Canberra Times favour Labor. It can be presumed the Australian Financial Review will favour the Coalition, as it traditionally does.

Newspoll: 50-50; Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor

Amid talk of Labor internal polling showing the situation for them souring in New South Wales, The Australian tells us a Newspoll survey conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday has the parties locked together on 50-50, after Labor led 52-48 at the poll conducted over the weekend. It appears Newspoll surveyed 800 people on both evenings and will do so again tonight, producing a 2500-sample poll that will be published in the Weekend Australian. More to follow …

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes reports Galaxy has Labor 52-48 ahead. Miranda Devine of the Sydney Morning Herald tweets that the Coalition primary vote in Newspoll is up three points, which means 44 per cent.

UPDATE 2: Most excellent comments contributor Lukas relates the Galaxy primary votes are 38 per cent Labor, 41 per cent Coalition and 14 per cent Greens.

UPDATE 3: Herald Sun report on Galaxy here. The sample was 1200, bigger than the Galaxy norm. The report informs us that 38 per cent of voters in New South Wales and Queensland “say they are less likely to vote Labor because of toxic state ALP governments”.