As expected, yesterday Malcolm Turnbull announced a double-dissolution election for July 2. Unlike a normal House and half-Senate election, a double dissolution means that all seats in both Houses are up for election. Senators elected in 2013 began their six year terms on 1 July 2014, so they lose four years of their terms.
As the election date is after 1 July, half of the new Senate will have their terms backdated to 1 July 2013, and a new election will be required by early 2019. Had the election been held before 1 July, a new election would be required by early 2018.
Here are all polls published so far this week, all taken after the budget but before the election announcement. The last Galaxy poll was taken in September after Turnbull replaced Abbott. Ipsos, Newspoll and ReachTEL were all last conducted three weeks ago.
Two of the polls show one point gains for the Coalition, one is unchanged, and the last Galaxy was taken too long ago for the change to have any meaning. It is likely that the Coalition has gained a little ground.
In the table I am using the previous election two party preferred (2PP) estimate for ReachTEL. A 50-50 respondent allocated 2PP was provided, but the primary vote movements clearly indicate a 1% gain for the Coalition. All previous ReachTELs have used last election preferences.
Respondent allocated preferences give Labor some hope. As noted above, ReachTEL’s respondent allocated figure was 50-50, compared with 51-49 to the Coalition using the previous election, and the same applies to Ipsos. All previous Ipsos polls under Turnbull had the Coalition doing one point better on respondent preferences than the previous election, but the latest Ipsos and ReachTEL have Labor performing one point better on respondent allocation.
An explanation of this is that, as Turnbull has moved to the right in recent weeks, he has won back some of the hard right voters who left the Coalition after Abbott was dumped. However, Turnbull’s right wing shift may cost the Coalition preferences from the Greens, and from populist Other voters.
In the last two weeks there were two Essential polls, both at 52-48 to Labor, that have not been followed by other polls. As a result the poll aggregates have a bigger move back to the Coalition than seems justified by the tabulated polls. Kevin Bonham’s aggregate is now at 50.2% 2PP to the Coalition, a gain of 0.6% for the Coalition since last week.
The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack is now at 50.3% 2PP to the Coalition, a 0.9% gain for the Coalition since last week. Primary votes are 42.2% for the Coalition, 34.8% for Labor, 11.1% for the Greens and 3.8% for the Nick Xenophon Team. Since last week, the Coalition has gained 1.1% on primary votes, mainly at the expense of Labor and the Greens.
Both Bonham’s aggregate and BludgerTrack give the Coalition a solid majority in seats despite leading the popular vote narrowly. According to Bonham, Labor needs 50.9% 2PP for a 50% chance of winning government. Both aggregates use previous election preferences.
I will update this article when Morgan is released; this usually happens late Monday afternoon. Update Monday 8:15pm: There does not appear to be a Morgan poll today.
In ReachTEL, Turnbull’s (total good) minus (total poor) rating was -6, up five points. This was Turnbull’s first gain following three straight months of big drops. Shorten’s equivalent rating was an unchanged -19.
In Ipsos, 48% approved of Turnbull’s performance (down 3), and 40% disapproved (up 2), for a net approval of +8. Shorten’s net approval was up a large 11 points to -11. Ipsos has given Turnbull much better ratings than other polls.
In Newspoll, 38% were satisfied with Turnbull’s performance (up 2), and 49% were dissatisfied (steady), for a net approval of -11. This is the first improvement for Turnbull since November. Shorten’s net approval was -19, up two points.
A Morgan phone poll, conducted 4-5 May from a small sample of 584, gives Turnbull a net rating of +2, down from +50 in the last such poll in October. Shorten’s net rating was -15, up from -37 in October.
Better PM ratings were 57-24 to Turnbull in Morgan, 58-42 in ReachTEL, 51-29 in Ipsos and 49-27 in Newspoll.
Budget reactions and other polling
Newspoll has asked three standard questions on every budget since at least 1990, although this is the first time they have been asked by the new Newspoll, which uses a different methodology to the old Newspoll, which was conducted by landline phone interview.
34% thought this budget was good for the economy, and 29% thought it bad. This +5 net rating is worse than most budgets in the linked table, though it is better than some of the early Howard budgets, the late Gillard budgets, and the infamous 2014 budget. The -21 net rating on personal finances is not a bad outcome by comparison to past budgets.
As the Coalition is generally regarded as better economic managers, Labor’s 12-point deficit on “would the opposition have delivered a better budget” is good compared to the Howard government years, when Labor’s minimum deficit was 13 points, and that was in 2007, the year Labor regained government.
In Ipsos, 39% were satisfied with the budget, and 46% dissatisfied. 37% thought the budget was fair, and 43% unfair. Both net ratings (-7 and -6 respectively) were better than for the 2014 budget, but worse than for virtually all other budgets in Nielsen/Ipsos history. Ipsos has been Fairfax’s pollster for the 2015 and 2016 budgets. 53% thought the Coalition would win the election, with only 24% backing Labor.
In ReachTEL, 26% said the budget was good or very good, 39% thought it was average and 35% poor or very poor. 7% thought they would be personally better off, and 33% worse off after the budget. 49% thought the Coalition was most likely to win the next election, with 28% selecting Labor.
In Galaxy, 62% thought it unfair that only workers earning more than $80,000 per year get a tax cut, and only 28% thought it fair. By 63-21, voters supported Labor’s plan to leave the deficit levy in place. 48% were correctly able to name Scott Morrison as the Treasurer, but only 18% could correctly name Chris Bowen as Labor’s Treasury spokesman.
In the Morgan phone poll, 41% thought Turnbull best to lead the Coalition, 24% Julie Bishop and all others had less than 10%. Turnbull’s support was down 23% from October. Among Coalition voters, it was 56% Turnbull, 17% Bishop and 10% Abbott.
22% thought Tanya Plibersek best to lead Labor, 20% Anthony Albanese and just 14% Shorten. Shorten was up five points since October. Among Labor voters, it was 23% Plibersek and 18% for both Albanese and Shorten. Morgan’s best leader of party polling has given Shorten much worse results than other polls.