Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Are Newspoll and Morgan Contradictory? No

This week’s Newspoll had Labor leading by a 52-48 margin, a 2% swing to the Coalition. Morgan’s press release has Labor leading by 56-44, a 1.5% swing to Labor. However, Morgan has been using respondent-allocated preferences as the headline figure in his press releases, while all other pollsters use the previous election’s preferences as the headline figure. This table shows Morgan’s results using both respondent allocation and previous election preferences, and there was no change on last fortnight using the previous election preferences, with Labor continuing to hold a 54-46 lead.

Furthermore, Morgan has a 1.5% lean to Labor relative to other pollsters, so 54% Two Party Preferred (2PP) to Labor from Morgan should be interpreted as 52.5%. This is now close to Newspoll’s 52% 2PP to Labor.

Newspoll’s pro-Coalition movement this week is because the last Newspoll was too high for Labor. Since MH17, the Coalition has improved from about a 54-46 deficit to a 52-48 deficit now; the latest Newspoll is closer to the trend than the previous one.

Here are this week’s three polls. Essential has now spent three weeks at 51-49 to Labor; it has a reputation for getting stuck in the same position for a long time. Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 52.3% 2PP to Labor, and the Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack will be similar when it comes out on Thursday.

polls Aug.

Last week was widely perceived as being a bad week for the Coalition, so why the lack of poll movement? Only a small portion of the electorate is actually interested in politics, and those that are interested do not tend to be swing voters. It usually takes a major event, like a budget or an airplane being shot down, to affect voting intentions quickly. The good week / bad week stories simply do not have the impact on voting intentions that the political industry thinks they do.

Notes on These Polls

  • Newspoll had an unchanged 36% satisfied with Abbott’s performance, and 54% (+1) dissatisfied, for a net approval of -18, while Shorten’s net approval was -8, down from -3 last fortnight.

  • Essential had Abbott’s net approval at -17, up from -24 in July. Shorten’s net approval was -6, down from -3 in July. 51% disapproved of requiring Internet Service Providers to retain internet activity records, while 39% approved. 68% had little or no trust in the safety of personal data, while 26% had some or a lot of trust.

In state polling news, a Queensland ReachTEL poll conducted 7 August has the Liberal National Party (LNP) increasing its lead from 51-49 in July to 52-48 now. And in NSW, two Liberal MPs have resigned from State Parliament after Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations. By-elections may need to be held in those two seats, though it may also be possible to leave the seats vacant until the next election in March 2015.

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