YouGov: 52-48 to Labor (open thread)

The fifth federal opinion poll of the week is the best of the bunch for Labor.

A busy week of federal polling continued yesterday with a new result from YouGov, which had Labor’s two-party lead out from 51-49 to 52-48, from primary votes of Labor 33% (up one), Coalition 36% (down two), Greens 13% (steady) and One Nation 8% (up one). Leadership ratings were not included on this occasion, but there was an Anzac Day-inspired question inviting respondents to choose between assertions that Australia “should be prepared to fight for our country’s values”, favoured by 46%, and that “we should be sceptical of politicians who want to commit troops to wars not necessary to the direct defence of Australia”, favoured by 42%. There was a marked tendency for younger respondents to favour the latter (44% to 34% among the 18-to-24 cohort) and older respondents the former (60% to 34% for those aged 65 and over). The poll was conducted Friday to Tuesday from a sample of 1514.

Results from a YouGov state poll for Queensland will be published at 2pm today in the Courier-Mail. UPDATE: For now it only offers the finding that 53% would prefer Steven Miles to Annastacia Palaszczuk as Premier and 47% vice-versa. Voting intention evidently to follow tomorrow morning.

Federal polls: Essential Research and Roy Morgan (open thread)

Labor falls behind in one poll and moves ahead in another. Also: Liberal preselection news for McPherson and the ACT Senate ticket.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll has both parties up on the primary vote, Labor by two to 31% and the Coalition by one to 35%, with undecided down two to 4%. The Greens are on 11%, reversing a three-point spike last time, and One Nation gets its best result for the term with a three-point surge to 9%. The Coalition moves back into the lead on the pollster’s 2PP+ measure, up three to 49% with Labor down one to 47%. The monthly leadership ratings find Peter Dutton with net positive approval for the first time from this or any other pollster, with a four-point gain on approval to 44% and a three-point drop on disapproval to 41%. Anthony Albanese up a point on both approval and disapproval, to 43% and 48% respectively.

A regular question on national mood found a one-point increase in those who consider the country headed in the wrong direction to 50% and a one point drop on right direction to 32%. When it was put to respondents that the government’s Future Made in Australia policy would “provide funding for large-scale renewable energy projects that support the creation of local jobs”, 51% were in favour with 18% opposed. Fifty-two per cent said they would support nuclear power, up two from October, with 31% opposed, down two. A question on Israel’s military action in Gaza recorded a five-point drop in those who thought Israel should permanently withdraw to 32%, with 19% considering its actions justified (up one) and 19% favouring a temporary ceasefire (down one). Twenty-nine per cent supported recognition of a Palestinian state with 24% opposed. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1145.

After two successive polls with the Coalition in the lead, the latest weekly Roy Morgan poll has Labor back in front 52-48 on two-party preferred. On the primary vote, Labor is up half a point to 30.5%, the Coalition is down three to 35.5%, the Greens are up two-and-a-half to 16% and One Nation is steady at 5.5%. The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1617.

Preselection news:

Andrew Potts of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports Leon Rebello, solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons, won a Liberal National Party preselection on the weekend to succeed the retiring Karen Andrews in McPherson. Other candidates were Ben Naday, lawyer and former staffer to Andrews, and David Stevens, managing director of a private strategy and investment consulting firm and Howard government cabinet policy unit adviser.

Ian Bushnell of RiotACT reports four candidates have nominated for a Liberal preselection vote to be held on Saturday to choose the party’s lead Senate candidate in the Australian Capital Territory: Giulia Jones, who served in the territory parliament from 2012 to 2022; Jerry Nockles, deputy chief executive of Independent Higher Education Australia and unsuccessful candidate for Eden-Monaro in 2022; Jacob Vadakkedathu, director of a management consultancy; and Kacey Lam-Evans, a former ministerial adviser to Christopher Pyne who now works for his lobbying firm. Zed Seselja lost the party’s ACT Senate seat to independent David Pocock at the 2022 election.

Mark Phillips of Brunswick Voice reports Samantha Ratnam, the Greens state party leader, has won the party preselection ballot for the inner northern Melbourne seat of Wills, prevailing over the party’s candidate from 2022, Sarah Jefford.

Federal polls: Newspoll and Resolve Strategic (open thread)

Labor keeps its nose in front in Newspoll, but records its weakest result since the election in Resolve Strategic.

The Australian reports the first Newspoll in four weeks has Labor with an unchanged two-party lead of 51-49, from primary votes of Labor 33% (up one), Coalition 38% (up one), Greens 12% (down one) and One Nation 7% (steady). On personal ratings, all we are told for now is that Anthony Albanese has a net minus six (up one), Peter Dutton a net minus 15 (steady), and Albanese holds a 13-point lead as preferred prime minister (down one). UPDATE: Albanese is steady on 44% approval and down one to 50% on disapproval; Dutton is down one on both approval and disapproval, to 36% and 51%; preferred prime minister has narrowed from 48-34 to 48-35. The poll was conducted Monday to Thursday from a sample of 1236.

Nine Newspapers also brings us the monthly Resolve Strategic poll, which gives Labor its weakest result since the election. Labor is down two points on the primary vote to 30%, with the Coalition up one to 36%, the Greens steady on 13% and One Nation steady on 5%. Resolve Strategic does not include two-party preferred results, but the report quotes its director Jim Reed saying Labor and the Coalition were tied “after preferences were calculated on the stated intention of survey respondents“.

Both leaders record improved personal ratings: Anthony Albanese is up five on approval (or more specifically, his combined very good and good result on his “performance as prime minister in recent weeks”) to 43% and down four on disapproval to 45%, while Peter Dutton is up four to 40% and down two to 42%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister is in from 40-30 to 41-32. The poll was conducted Wednesday through to Sunday from a sample of 1610.

The poll also includes results on favoured household assistance measures for the looming budget, which are interestingly broken down into low, medium and high income cohorts, producing startlingly different results. Given one of five options to pick, only 3% on low incomes favoured lower income tax rates, with 28% supporting higher welfare payments and 27% energy bill relief. For the high income cohort, 27% favoured “downward pressure on inflation and interest rates” (presumably to be accomplished through no household assistance at all), with only 8% favouring higher welfare.

Weekend miscellany: Morgan poll and preselection latest (open thread)

The Coalition chalks up consecutive leads in Roy Morgan polls, as Labor prepares to fill a Victorian Senate vacancy created by the death of Linda White.

The Coalition has now chalked up consecutive two-party preferred leads in Roy Morgan for the first time this term, its lead out from 50.5-49.5 to 51-49. The primary votes are little changed, with Labor up half a point to 30%, the Coalition up half a point to 38.5%, the Greens steady on 13.5% and One Nation down half a point to 5.5%. The poll was conducted last Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1706. The Financial Review also published further results from its Freshwater Strategy poll showing 38% support for a longer term for the House of Representatives, with 44% opposed.

Preselection news:

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports Lisa Darmanin, public sector branch secretary of the Australian Services Union, is all but certain to win decisive Socialist Left backing to fill Labor’s Victorian Senate vacancy resulting from the death of Linda White in February. However, four further candidates are rated likely to nominate for the factional ballot, though not to win, “to force a party ballot amid frustration over ethnic diversity and union influence”. They are Wesa Chau, director of public policy at Multicultural Leadership Initiative; Pamela Anderson, chief executive of Labor women’s advocacy group Emily’s List; Nadia David, a farmer and criminologist; and Sorina Grasso, deputy mayor of the City of Knox. The party’s national secretary, Paul Erickson, and Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy, have reportedly knocked back approaches to nominate.

• Samantha Ratnam, Victorian Greens leader and member for the upper house region of Northern Metropolitan, has announced she will quit state politics to seek preselection for the federal seat of Wills, which Peter Khalil retained for Labor ahead of the Greens by margins of 4.9% in 2016, 8.2% in 2019 and 8.6% in 2022. She faces a rival in the party’s candidate from 2022, Sarah Jefford, but Annika Smethurst of The Age rates Ratnam a “near certainty” in a party ballot for which voting wrapped upon Wednesday. The Age further reports the Greens hope to “unite conservative Muslim voters with young progressives”, it being presumed that the former will be disaffected over the government’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.

• A Liberal preselection last fortnight for the Perth seat of Tangney, which the party will be optimistic of recovering after Sam Lim gained it for Labor with an 11.9% swing in 2022, was won by Mark Wales, SAS veteran, Survivor winner and author of a novel about a future war with China. Joe Spagnolo of the Sunday Times reports Wales was a “clear winner” over Howard Ong, an IT consultant, and Sean Ayres, a litigation lawyer and staffer to the previous member for the seat, Ben Morton.

• The Financial Review reports Roanne Knox, former Deloitte consultant and founder of children’s fashion label Chasing Sunshine, will shortly be endorsed by the Liberal state executive as the candidate for Wentworth, where teal independent Allegra Spender defeated now Senator Dave Sharma in 2022. Peter King, who held the seat for a term before being deposed for preselection by Malcolm Turnbull in 2004, was earlier rated as a contender, has ultimately declined to nominate.

• The Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD column reports Jess Collins, conservative-aligned Lowy Institute research fellow and unsuccessful candidate for the late Jim Molan’s Senate vacancy in November, will contest the Senate preselection ballot for the next election, potentially posing a threat to Andrew Bragg, a moderate who alienated many in the party by supporting the Indigenous Voice. The other incumbent, centre right-aligned Hollie Hughes, is likely to get the top position.

Freshwater Strategy: 50-50 (open thread)

Level pegging from the Financial Review’s Freshwater Strategy poll, which records only very slight changes on last month.

Newspoll has not reported according to the three-week schedule it usually observes, but the Financial Review fills the void with the monthly Freshwater Strategy poll. This records a tie on two-party preferred after a 51-49 result in favour of Labor last time, but it’s based on only the slightest changes on the primary vote, with Labor steady on 31%, the Coalition up one on 40% and the Greens down one on 13%. Anthony Albanese is up a point on approval to 38% and steady on disapproval at 45%, Peter Dutton is up two to 32% and down two to 41%, and Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows from 47-38 to 45-39. The poll was conducted Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1055.

Cook by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Cook by-election.

Click here for full display of Cook by-election results.

7.33pm. Most booths have reported now on both the primary and two-candidate preferred, and with the Liberal primary vote at over 60% and the two-candidate preferred over 70%, there’s not much to commentate on.

6.53pm. Four booths in on the primary vote and one in on TCP, and my Liberal win probability is as expected now at 100%. The Greens are running a clear second so the AEC got it right on the two-candidate preferred count.

6.43pm. The first result in is 262 formal votes from Miranda South, 57.6% of which have gone to the Liberals. This gets my Liberal win probability to 86%, which you can rest assured will get to 100% with a few more results in.

6.00pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s coverage of the Cook by-election count. The link above is to a page featuring updated results, including full booth details in both tabular and map display (click on the button at the bottom of the page for the latter) and swing-based projections and probability estimates. The main chart displays on the top right are also be shown at the top of this post. A Liberal win here should be a formality, but for what it’s worth, the Australian Electoral Commission will be conducting its indicative two-candidate preferred count between the Liberals and the Greens. This post will offer live commentary as the results come through, the first of which I imagine will be in a bit before 7pm.

UK local elections minus three weeks

The Conservatives are set to suffer large losses at UK local elections. Also covered: other recent and upcoming elections.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

UK local government elections will be held on May 2. Owing to COVID, there were no elections in 2020, so the large majority of the seats up were last contested in 2021. At the 2021 local elections, the Conservatives under Boris Johnson had a big win. With national polls now showing a huge Labour lead, the Conservatives are virtually certain to suffer large losses.

Local elections are contested on a four-year cycle, with different wards up every year. Some years are more Conservative-leaning and others Labour-leaning. The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS) attempts to correct for bias in the particular year. In 2021, the Conservatives won the PNS by 36-29 over Labour with 17% for the Liberal Democrats. In 2023, Labour won by 35-26 with 20% Lib Dems.

The biggest prize at these elections is the London mayoralty. Previously, mayors were elected by preferential voting, but the Conservative government regressed to first-past-the-post. Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan, who is running for a third term, has a large lead over Conservative Susan Hall. These local elections will be the last before the general election, which is likely to be held in late 2024, though it could be delayed until January 2025.

There will also be a parliamentary by-election on May 2 in Conservative-held Blackpool South. Former Conservative MP Scott Benton resigned on March 25, while a six-week petition to recall him after he was suspended from parliament for 35 days was ongoing. The recall petition was to close on April 22, with at least 10% of registered voters needed. The Conservatives gained Blackpool South from Labour at the 2019 election, winning by a 49.6-38.3 margin with 6.1% for the Brexit Party.

Other upcoming elections

The US general election will be held on November 5. I covered the upcoming US and UK elections for The Conversation on March 19. Since this article, Joe Biden’s net approval in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate has improved from -16.8 to -15.4, while Donald Trump’s net favourability has slipped from -9.7 to -10.2. National general election polls are close to even between Trump and Biden, an improvement for Biden. However, Trump is probably advantaged by the Electoral College system.

The Indian election takes place in seven stages, from April 19 to June 1. No interim results will be released, with vote counting set for June 4. The 543 MPs are elected by FPTP. The right-wing alliance of PM Narendra Modi, who is running for a third successive term, has a high-single to double-digit lead in polls.

The European parliament election will be held from June 6-9, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. Far-right parties are expected to make gains.

Recent elections

The 230 Portuguese MPs are elected by PR in multi-member electorates. At the March 10 election, which was held early owing to scandals in the governing Socialists, the conservative AD won 80 seats (up three since the last election in 2022), the centre-left Socialists 78 seats (down 42) and the far-right Chega 50 seats (up 38). The AD has formed a minority government.

The final results for the February 14 Indonesian election have been released. In the presidential election, Prabowa Subianto, who represented an alliance of right-wing and Islamist parties, won 58.6% of the vote, far ahead of his nearest opponent who had 25.0%. By winning a majority, Prabowa avoided a runoff.

In legislative elections, the 580 seats were elected by PR in multi-member electorates with a 4% national threshold. While the centre-left Democratic Party of Struggle won the most seats, it lost 18 seats to fall to 110, while right-wing and Islamist parties all made gains. There’s a clear majority for right-wing and Islamist parties.

Two Irish referendums were held on March 8, and both were heavily defeated. The first referendum proposed to expand the definition of family to include durable relationships outside marriage, and it lost by 67.7-32.3. The second referendum proposed to replace references to women’s “life within the home” with gender-neutral language on supporting care within the family; this lost by 73.9-26.1.  Perhaps as a result of these defeats, Leo Varadkar announced on March 20 that he would resign as Taoiseach (PM).

Polls: Essential Research, Morgan and more (open thread)

Essential Research finds Labor taking the lead, Roy Morgan does the opposite, YouGov has results on deportations policy, and uComms suggests no surprises at Saturday’s Cook by-election

The fortnightly Essential Research poll has Labor recovering a lead on the 2PP+ measure after a distinctly poor result last time, with Labor up four to 48% and the Coalition down four to 46%. However, Labor remains at its lowest ebb for the term of 29% on the primary vote, with the Coalition down two to 34%, the Greens up three 14%, and One Nation down one to 6%. For both measures, undecided is steady at 6%.

A regular question on the economic outlook finds an eight point drop since February in the expectation that conditions will get worse over the next twelve months to 48% and a two point rise in expectations of improvement to 21%. Further questions focus on housing, including a finding that 51% support removing “tax concessions like negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts for property investors”, with only 19% opposed, and 40% wanting lower house prices against 15% for higher and 45% for “stabilised”. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from 1165.

The Essential poll also asked about the two specifics of the government’s deportation bill that was blocked in the Senate last week, with 51% support for one-year prison terms for non-citizens who refused to co-operate with deportation against 17% opposed, and 50% support for blacklisting countries that refuse to accept deportees from further visa applications against 14% opposed. However, a poll published yesterday by YouGov found only 31% support for the government having “the power to ban all visa applications from a particular country” when the alternative option was to “treat all visa applications on an individual merit basis regardless of country origin”, support for which was 60%. The YouGov poll was conducted March 29 to April 6 from a sample of 1517.

The weekly Roy Morgan poll contradicts Essential Research in finding the Coalition leading for first time since its first poll for the year, with a 51-49 Labor lead last week making way for a 50.5-49.5 lead to the Coalition. The primary votes are Labor 29.5% (down half), Coalition 38% (up half), Greens 13.5% (down two) and One Nation 6% (up two-and-a-half). The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1731.

The Australian Institute has a uComms poll for Saturday’s Cook by-election, which unsurprisingly finds Simon Kennedy assured of retaining the seat for the Liberals. After distribution of a forced-response follow-up for the initially undecided, the primary votes are 52.8% for Kennedy, 17.3% for the Greens, 11.7% for independent Roger Woodward, 8.0% for Animal Justice, 5.7% for Sustainable Australia and 4.4% for the Libertarian Party, with Kennedy leading the Greens 65-35 on two-party preferred. There were also numerous attitudinal questions, including a finding that 51.2% rated former member Scott Morrison’s legacy as prime minister as good against 43.6% for poor. The poll was conducted March 28 from a sample of 914.