Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Turnbull’s honeymoon continues despite GST talk

Last week there was much speculation that the government will propose raising the GST to 15% from its current 10% at the next election. So far this talk has failed to either dent Turnbull’s ratings or the Coalition’s two party lead. Here is this week’s poll table; note that Morgan is currently a week out of alignment with Newspoll.

polls early Nov.

Prior to Turnbull becoming PM, Morgan favoured Labor by about a point relative to other polls, but since then it has favoured the Coalition by about two points. Morgan’s respondent allocated preferences were 56.5-43.5 to the Coalition, 1.5% better for them than the previous election method.

Newspoll gave Turnbull a 56% satisfied rating (down 2) and a 24% dissatisfied rating (up 1) for a net approval of +32. Shorten’s net rating was -30, a slight improvement on last fortnight’s -32. Essential gave Turnbull a net approval of +36, up from +30 a month ago, with Labor voters giving Turnbull a net +14 approval and Greens voters a net +5. Shorten had a net -20 rating in Essential, down from -12; Greens voters gave Shorten a net -19 rating.

Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 52.8% Two Party Preferred (2PP) to the Coalition, a 0.4% gain for the Coalition in the last two weeks. The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack is at 53.5% 2PP to the Coalition, a 0.6% gain for the Coalition in two weeks. Primary votes are 45.9% for the Coalition, 32.3% for Labor and 10.9% for the Greens. The Coalition’s 2PP is now back at the last election level.

More on Essential

In this week’s Essential, 43% supported Australia exporting uranium, and 30% were opposed. Support was evenly divided on nuclear power plants, with 40% both opposed and supportive. However, 50% opposed Australia developing nuclear waste storage facilities, with only 31% in favour. 63% approved of dumping knights and dames, with only 15% opposed. On voting age, 77% wanted to keep compulsory 18+ voting, 14% thought it should be voluntary for 16 and 17 year olds, and just 4% thought it should be compulsory for 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

In last week’s Essential, 27% trusted Treasurer Scott Morrison most to handle the economy, with 18% for Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, and 56% “don’t know”. In May, Hockey had a 29-23 lead over Bowen. 14% thought their income had gone up more than the cost of living, but 54% thought it had fallen behind. Company profits were the only economic issue voters thought had improved in the last 12 months.

47% supported a proposed ban on new coalmines, while 25% were opposed. 49% thought world leaders need to act now on climate change, and another 11% in the next 12 months. By 64-29, respondents thought superannuation should be compulsory.

Liberals win Victorian by-elections easily

By-elections occurred in the Liberal-held Victorian regional seats of South West Coast and Polwarth on the 31 October; no official Labor candidate stood in either seat. In Polwarth, the Liberals won 49.7% of the primary vote, to 15.9% for the Greens and 12.0% for the Nationals. In South West Coast, the Liberals won 40.0% of the primary vote, with 16.8% for Independent (and former Labor candidate) Roy Reekie, 14.4% for the Nationals, 10.4% for the Country Party and 7.6% for the Greens. After preferences the Liberals won by over 60-40.

These by-elections would be disappointing for the Nationals, who finished third in both seats. They also show that the Greens did not gain much benefit from the absence of a Labor candidate; their vote was down 2% in South West Coast and up 5% in Polwarth, where Labor won 28% at the 2014 state election. It will be interesting to see whether the Greens gain most of the 20% who voted Labor in 2013 at the North Sydney by-election on the 5 December.

In other state polling news, the Liberals have surged 8% since August in a Tasmanian EMRS poll to now have 48% of the primary vote, to 25% for Labor and 20% for the Greens. This would be an easy win for the Liberals in Tasmania’s Hare Clark system. This poll was conducted 1-5 November from a sample of 1000. Kevin Bonham has more details.

Turkish and Myanmar election results

No government was formed after the June Turkish election, so a new election was held on the 1 November. The Islamist and conservative AKP party of President Recep Erdogan won a surprising outright majority, with 317 of 550 seats (up 59 on June), to 134 for the major left wing opposition CHP (up 2), 59 for the Kurdish left wing HDP (down 21) and 40 for the nationalist MHP (down 40). Popular votes were 49.5% for the AKP (up 8.6%), 25.3% for the CHP (up 0.4%), 10.8% for the HDP (down 2.4%) and 11.9% for the MHP (down 4.4%). Turkey requires parties qualifying for seats to have at least 10% of the overall vote.

The first democratic election since 1990 was held last Sunday in Myanmar, though 25% of the seats in both houses of the Myanmar Parliament are still appointed by the military. Official results have been slow to report, but Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) expects to win about 80% of elected seats in both houses, which would give them about 60% of the total membership of both houses, even with the military appointments. The First Past the Post system was used in both houses. You can follow the official results as they come in via Wikipedia.