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Making sense of the polls

Ipsos and Newspoll Show Conflicting Results

This week we had two major media polls, with the first Ipsos poll in the Fairfax papers and Newspoll in The Australian. Ipsos has Labor’s lead at only 51-49, but Newspoll has Labor leading by a wider 54-46 margin. Here is the table of poll results for this week. Note that Ipsos is recorded as “NA” in the Change column because this is the first Ipsos Federal poll.

polls early Nov.

Morgan has had a 1.5% lean to Labor relative to other pollsters in polling conducted since the 2013 election, so a 53.5% Two Party Preferred (2PP) to Labor from Morgan should be interpreted as 52% from another pollster. It looks as if Labor has about a 52-48 lead, with Newspoll and Ipsos at opposite ends of that range.

Newspoll’s rounding has been very favourable to Labor recently. In four of the last five Newspolls, including all of the last three, a calculation based on the published primary votes would have resulted in Labor getting 1% less 2PP than they actually recorded in those four polls. It is possible that Newspoll is getting too many Independents in its Others component, and that the Independents are skewing the results because their preferences in 2013 went to Labor by 57-43. In 2013, the two Independents who won significant votes were Cathy McGowan in Indi and Andrew Wilkie in Denison; these two Independents attracted left of centre votes, and probably skew what Newspoll’s Independents would actually do.

Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 52.2% 2PP to Labor, up 0.2% since last week and the highest for Labor in 12 weeks. The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack gives Labor a 52.0-48.0 lead, a 0.7% swing to Labor since last week. Primary votes are 39.7% for the Coalition, 36.4% for Labor, 11.9% for the Greens and 3.7% for Palmer United Party (PUP). Labor’s primary vote has increased 0.9% since last week in BludgerTrack. State breakdowns show a Federal Labor lead of 56-44 in Victoria, which is not good news for the State Coalition government that faces an election in just over three weeks.

Notes on These Polls

  • In Ipsos, Abbott had a 42% approval rating and a 49% disapproval rating for a net approval of -7. Shorten had a net approval of +3. 54% opposed the government’s paid parental leave, with 40% supportive. By a 64-28 margin, voters opposed the deregulation of university fees. Respondent allocated preferences gave Labor a 53-47 lead, 2% higher than using 2013 election preferences.

  • Morgan’s respondent allocated preferences were 54.5-45.5 to Labor, a 2.5% gain for Labor since last fortnight, and 1% above the previous election preferences.

  • Newspoll had Abbott’s satisfied and dissatisfied ratings both down 1%, to 37% and 52% respectively, for a net approval of -15, unchanged on last fortnight. Shorten’s net approval was up 3 points to -8.

  • In Essential, 63% thought Australia was more likely to experience extreme weather events in the next few years. 76% thought that extreme weather events were likely to be linked to climate change, with only 16% thinking this unlikely. 53% opposed deregulation of university fees, with only 22% supportive. By a 44-22 margin, respondents said that deregulation would decrease access to a university education.

  • A ReachTEL poll conducted two weeks ago found that only 15% had noticed a decrease in their cost of living since the carbon tax was repealed.

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