Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Two polls show movement to Labor, but no movement in others

There have been four polls released this week. The Ipsos and Morgan polls both showed a substantial increase in the Labor vote share, but Newspoll and Essential have not supported this trend to Labor. Here is this week’s poll table. Note that Morgan leans to Labor by about one point, while Ipsos leans to the Coalition by a similar margin. The last Ipsos was the 50-50 tie following the budget, while the other polls are weekly or fortnightly.

polls mid June.

This will be Newspoll’s last poll in its current form; it will be replaced with a robopoll run by Galaxy in July. Possibly owing to staff shortages, Newspoll took five days to conduct a poll that they normally do in three days.

Polls that conducted their fieldwork later last week, such as Ipsos and Morgan, have Labor doing better than polls with earlier fieldwork. Perhaps Abbott’s comments on wind farms and allegations of bribes paid to people smugglers have had some impact later in the week. Joe Hockey’s comments on home ownership last Tuesday would not have helped the government either.

Ipsos and Morgan both gave respondent allocated preferences. In Ipsos, Labor led by 54-46 on respondent allocation, 1% higher than the previous election method. In Morgan, Labor scored an identical 54.5% Two Party Preferred (2PP) in both methods.

Newspoll’s ratings for both leaders were dreadful. Abbott’s satisfied rating was down 4% to 34% and his dissatisfied rating up 3% to 56%, for a net approval of -22, down from -15. Shorten scored a net -26 approval, down from -18 last fortnight, and a new record low net approval for Shorten. Ipsos’ ratings were comparatively benign for both leaders, giving Abbott a -14 net approval, down from -8, and Shorten a -6 net approval, down from -4.

The Greens are at 14% in both Newspoll and Ipsos, and at 13.5% in Morgan, up 1% in all three polls. Polls generally overestimate Greens support, so the Greens would probably get about 12% in an election held now, but this is a big improvement for the Greens since Richard di Natale replaced Christine Milne as their leader.

Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 52.4% 2PP to Labor, a 0.6% gain for Labor since last week, and the first movement since the budget. The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack is at 52.1% 2PP to Labor, a 0.2% gain for Labor since last week. Primary votes are 40.4% for the Coalition, 36.7% for Labor and 12.8% for the Greens. Both major parties are down 1.3%, with 1.1% going to the Greens and the rest to Others. Graphs show a marked decline in the approval ratings of both leaders.

Notes on these polls

  • Ipsos had 68% support for same sex marriage, with 25% opposed. Overall, 57% thought homes were unaffordable for first home buyers in their local area, with 40% disagreeing. However, this disguises huge regional variations - capital city residents thought housing was unaffordable by 69-30, while those living elsewhere said it was affordable by 60-35.

  • Newspoll had 58% support for same sex marriage, with 34% opposed.

  • Essential asked whether housing in respondents’ local areas was affordable for those on average incomes, and 60% said it was unaffordable, with 33% diasagreeing. 75% said it had become less affordable over the last few years, with just 11% opting for more affordable.

In last week’s Essential, 81% supported revoking citizenship from dual nationals who are engaged in terrorism. 73% also supported revoking citizenship from sole nationals if they could become a citizen of another country. A major caveat is that the question wording assumed guilt. When asked whether courts or a government minister should have the power to strip citizenship, 54% selected the courts and only 24% a minister.