Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Newspoll has Labor gaining, but Morgan says otherwise

This week’s Newspoll had Labor gaining 2% from last fortnight to lead by 55-45 after preferences. However, the normally Labor-favouring Morgan poll had Labor down 1.5% on last fortnight to a 53.5-46.5 lead. As Morgan tends to favour Labor by 1.5% compared with other polls, this Morgan was a relatively good result for the Coalition. In early February, both Newspoll and Morgan had Labor ahead by 57-43 margins, so the current results represent a 3.5% gain for the Coalition in Morgan, and 2% in Newspoll. Here is this week’s poll table.

polls mid Mar.

Both Newspoll and Morgan have issues with their current results. In Newspoll’s case, calculating the Two Party Preferred (2PP) from the published primaries would give us only 54.2% to Labor, so this result has probably been rounded up to 55% from something a little over 54.5%. The Coalition benefited from rounding in last fortnight’s Newspoll, so the actual poll to poll change was probably a little more than one point, rather than two points.

Morgan’s poll was conducted over two weekends, and the weekend of 28 February - 1 March was prior to the publication of last week’s 51-49 Ipsos. That Ipsos poll greatly changed the media perceptions on Abbott’s leadership, so it is possible that data collected before this Ipsos reflected the public’s opinion that Abbott would soon be replaced.

Newspoll had Abbott’s satisfied rating up 3% to 28%, and his dissatisfied rating down 5% to 63%, for a net approval of -35, up 8 points. Abbott’s Newspoll ratings are in better agreement with the expected 2PP from such ratings than last fortnight’s Newspoll or last week’s Ipsos. While Abbott’s net ratings are up, they are still worse than at his previous nadir following the 2014 budget. After diving from +2 to -14 last fortnight, Shorten’s net approval rating has surged back to -3.

The contradictory movement between Newspoll and Morgan make the current polling situation unclear, and we will need to wait for more polls to clarify this. Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 53.1% 2PP to Labor, a 0.4% gain for the Coalition since last week, and 2.6% in three weeks. The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack is at 52.9% 2PP to Labor, down 0.6% on last week. Primary votes are 39.7% for the Coalition, 38.7% for Labor and 11.1% for the Greens. Labor has lost 0.9% on primary votes, with half going to the Coalition and half to the Greens.

Notes on These Polls

  • Morgan’s respondent allocated preferences were 53.5-46.5 to Labor, the same as the previous election preferences, and a 2.5% drop for Labor on this measure. It is possible that the Turnbull as PM speculation has affected the way minor party voters allocate their preferences.

  • Essential had Abbott’s net approval up 8 points since February to -25, while Shorten’s net approval was steady at -5. Respondents thought that big businesses, high income earners and religious organisations pay too little tax, and that everyone else pays too much tax. By a 60-13 margin, making large mulinational corporations pay more tax was thought to be good for the economy. By 50-36, voters disapproved of sending more troops to Iraq. A question on whether any of children, young adults, families with school-aged children, the middle aged and retirees received too much support or not enough support found that not enough support led by at least 20 points in all cases.

Full Results from NSW ReachTEL

ReachTEL has now published full results from its latest NSW poll, which I referred to in Monday’s post; it gave the Coalition a 53-47 lead using respondent allocated preferences. Mike Baird’s total good rating is steady at 42%, and his total poor rating is down 2% to 19% for a net approval of +23; this is a very strong rating by ReachTEL’s standards. Luke Foley’s total good rating is up 7% to 24% and his total poor rating is down 3% to 24%, for a net zero rating.

By a huge 52-26 margin, voters oppose the lease of 49% of the electricity network; even 22% of Coalition voters are opposed. However, although this lease is strongly opposed, it is only rated the most important issue by 9% of all voters, so it may not make much difference to the election result.

Israeli Election next Tuesday

The Israeli election will be held next Tuesday 17 March, with results coming in Wednesday morning Australian time. The Israeli Parliament, known as the Knesset, has 120 members elected by proportional representation, with a minimum 3.25% required to win any seats. At the 2013 Israeli election, a right wing alliance led by Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu was able to form government.

According to polling, this election is likely to be a close contest between the Israeli Labor party and Likud. However, the biggest party is likely to have less than 30 seats, and will need to make alliances to get to the 61 seats required for government formation.