Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Latest State and Federal Polling

I mentioned Morgan and Galaxy polls in Saturday’s Victorian election preview. Morgan has published another SMS poll, this one taken from last Friday to Monday from a sample of 1170. The results show a 3% swing back to the Coalition from the poll released last Friday, with Labor’s lead reduced from 55-45 to 52-48. Primary votes are 39.5% for the Coalition (up 4.5), 33.5% for Labor (down 2) and 17.5% for the Greens (down 2). It is clear, given last week’s Galaxy, that the previous Morgan was a pro-Labor outlier, and that Labor’s lead has been reduced since the Coalition’s ad blitz began. Morgan’s Victorian SMS polls have had the Greens too high, Labor too low and the Coalition a little too low compared with other Victorian polling.

I expect that there will be many Victorian polls out on Friday and Saturday. I will have a new post on the final polls on Election Day 29 November, and a post on the actual results the following day.

Update Wednesday afternoon 26 November: An Essential Victoria poll gives Labor a 53-47 lead from primary votes of 40% for the Coalition, 39% for Labor and 13% for the Greens. However, this poll was done over the last three weeks, so it is not really a final poll. The sample size was 790.

In NSW, Galaxy gives the Coalition a 56-44 lead, and Ipsos a 54-46 lead, with the Coalition leading Labor by 12% on primary votes in Galaxy and 8% in Ipsos; both polls give the Greens 11%. Mike Baird has a 60% approval rating in Ipsos, with just 18% disapproving for a net approval of +42. An Ipsos question on which party is most trustworthy finds Labor lagging in third place with just 17% rating it most trustworthy, compared with 33% for the Coalition and 19% for the Greens. The high Greens vote in NSW would make it closer if compulsory preferential voting was used, but as it is, the Coalition should win the next NSW election in March 2015 easily.

For a Queensland Galaxy that had a 50-50 tie, go to the end of my last Federal polling report. A poll from Tasmanian pollster EMRS has the Liberals on 42%, down 9% on the election. This gives some validation to the small Morgan SMS samples from Tasmania that I have previously reported. Kevin Bonham has much more on the EMRS poll.

Update Wednesday afternoon 26 November: Morgan has now released results for all states from SMS polls conducted from last Friday to Monday. Comparisons are with a Morgan state SMS poll in late October. In NSW, the Coalition led 55-45, a 1% swing to Labor. In Qld, the Liberal National Party (LNP) led 50.5-49.5, a 1% swing to the LNP. In WA, the Coalition led 51.5-48.5, a 1.5% swing to Labor. In SA, Labor led 51.5-48.5, a 1% swing to the Liberals. In Tasmania, Labor’s primary surged 7.5% to lead the Liberals 41.5-39, with the Greens on 13%. Sample sizes were 1250 in NSW, 1180 in Queensland, 500 in WA, 490 in SA and 280 in Tasmania. The Tasmanian sample should particularly be taken with a large grain of salt.

Federal Polling

A ReachTEL robopoll survey of 3600, conducted last Thursday night 20 November, has Labor leading by 53-47, a 1% gain for Labor since the October ReachTEL. Primary votes were 40% for the Coalition (steady), 38.5% for Labor (up 1), 11% for the Greens (down 0.5) and 3% for Palmer United Party (PUP) (down 2). 31% gave Abbott a good or very good rating, and 52% a poor or very poor rating, with Abbott’s very poor rating of 36% his highest since June. Shorten’s ratings are very “meh”, with 41% giving him a “satisfactory” rating, up from 37% in October. 34% thought Abbott did a good job at the G20, and 42% thought he was poor. The proportion rating Abbott poor at the G20 was almost double the proportion who said the G20 produced negative outcomes for Australia (22%). 43% thought Jacqui Lambie should leave PUP, with 18% disagreeing.

Essential this week is 52-48 to Labor, unchanged on last week, with virtually identical primary votes. Essential has a tendency to not move when other pollsters do move. 55% said the G20 was an expensive talk fest, while 26% said it delivered real outcomes; a survey before the G20 had expensive talk fest up by 62-16. 31% said that Abbott performed well at the G20, while 37% said he was poor. 57% had little or no trust in the government’s handling of international relations, while 38% had at least some trust; in October it was 53% little trust, 40% some trust. 42% thought that Australia is taking the wrong approach to climate change, while 28% thought that Australia is taking the right approach. 51% approve of the Free Trade Agreement with China, with 20% disapproving, up from a 44-18 spread in favour of approval last week. By a 52-25 margin, voters disapproved of the funding cuts to the ABC.

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