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Federal Election 2010

Aug 21, 2010

Newspoll, Nielsen, Westpoll

So ... • GhostWhoVotes reports Nielsen has Labor ahead 52-48, from primary votes of 39 per cent for Labor, 41.5 per cent for the Coalition and 13 per cent for the Greens. 

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So …

• GhostWhoVotes reports Nielsen has Labor ahead 52-48, from primary votes of 39 per cent for Labor, 41.5 per cent for the Coalition and 13 per cent for the Greens.

The Australian reports the 2500-sample Newspoll we were shown two-thrds of yesterday panned out to 50.2-49.8, the decimal place being a feature of Newspoll’s final polling since about two years ago.

• Westpoll/Patterson Market Research has polled 400 voters in each of Canning, Hasluck, Swan and Cowan, putting the Liberals narrowly ahead in each: 51-49, 52-48, 52-48 and 53-47 respectively. Canning aside, where Alannah MacTiernan is clearly doing exceptionally well in narrowing down a 4.3 per cent Liberal margin, the figures point to a swing against Labor of about 2.5 per cent within a margin of error of under 3 per cent.

UPDATE: Newspoll state breakdowns show the shift they have recorded against Labor has been driven by a collapse in Queensland, where their two-party vote is down six points on last week to 42 per cent, and New South Wales, where they are down four to 48 per cent. This points to election-losing swings of 8.4 per cent an 6.2 per cent. And yet the poll also finds Labor climbing still higher in Victoria for a swing of 3.7 per cent, maintaining their 3.6 per cent swing in South Australia, and recovering four points to their 2007 level of support in Western Australia. After appearing to reverse her decline last week, Gillard’s disapproval has shot up five points to 43 per cent, almost equal with her steady 44 per cent approval. State results vary from plus-22 net approval in South Australia to minus-16 in Queensland. However, Tony Abbott’s disapproval is also up four points to 50 per cent, and his disapproval down one to 42 per cent. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 50-35 to 50-37.

UPDATE 2: Kevin Bonham in comments notes that the Queensland result looks very much an outlier, and if it was replaced with the state’s trend figure the national result would be 50.8-49.2 in favour of Labor. This of course would normally be rounded to 51-49.

UPDATE 3: While a nation waits in breathless anticipation of the result in Boothby, The Advertiser offers … a poll of Hindmarsh. This predictably has Labor well ahead, although the size of the margin – 62-38 from a swing of 7 per cent – is interesting.

UPDATE 4: Roy Morgan has done a very strange thing – recontacted the 187 undecided voters (fair enough) and Greens voters (huh?) from their recent poll to check if they had made up or changed their minds, and reassigned their vote choices accordingly. Their figures thus record Greens votes shifting to other parties, but not other votes shifting to the Greens.

UPDATE 5: A late situation report.

New South Wales. The final Newspoll has the swing at 6.2 per cent, and while this seems to be what Labor is bracing for in western Sydney, the result is well clear of what is expected statewide. Nielsen and Morgan both have it at 3 per cent. A swing of that size in Sydney alone would cost Labor Macquarie, Macarthur and Bennelong, and the expectation that these seats will indeed be lost has become almost universal over the past few days. There is also an emerging consensus that two further Sydney seats on much larger margins, Lindsay and Greenway, are being swept away on a late surge to the Coalition. However, Imre Salusinszky of The Australian suggests the backlash against Labor ends at the city limits. Robertson is rated “the only regional seat in NSW where Labor regards itself in deep trouble” (Gilmore evidently doesn’t count), and even there the result is 50-50. Labor is thus expected to retain Eden-Monaro, Dobell and Page, and if this proves wrong they can kiss the election goodbye. There would also remain the vague hope for Labor of a boilover in Liberal-held Robertson.

Victoria. Meanwhile, the swing to Labor in Victoria is at the very least holding firm: Newspoll has it at 3.7 per cent, Morgan at 0.7 per cent. Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a Liberal source talking of a stronger-than-anticipated swing driven by “resentment in the southern states towards the almost-maniacal focus on western Sydney and Queensland”. Certainly Labor is expected at a bare minimum to win McEwen, and are generally rated favourites to take La Trobe. Beyond that pickings in Victoria are slim, though there are dim hopes Dunkley or Aston might prove a bolter. Conversely, Labor are by no means a foregone conclusion of retaining Corangamite, which looms as a must-win for them in every sense of the term. Labor are all but giving away Melbourne to Greens candidate Adam Bandt, who could find himself in a very interesting position over the coming week or two.

Queensland. Newspoll has set a cat among the pigeons by showing a lethal swing against Labor of 8.4 per cent and a primary vote below 30 per cent. However, this is sharply at odds with Nielsen’s 3 per cent and Morgan’s 4.4 per cent. Should it come in at the lower end of expectations, Labor could yet save quite a bit of furniture. I believe Peter Brent is overselling his point in saying “sophomore surge” means the Coalition is more likely to lose from a majority of the vote than Labor, but there’s no question this phenomenon warrants more attention than it has been given. At the 1998, members of John Howard’s class of 1996 facing re-election for the first time experienced an average swing 1.1 per cent lower than the overall swing in their state. Similarly, the 19 Labor MPs ushered into the Victorian parliament by the Steve Bracks landslide of 2002 out-performed the statewide swing by 1.4 per cent at the 2006 election. Should that pattern be repeated this time, it would be an enormous boon to Labor in Queensland where sophomores are defending eight seats, including six on margins of 4.5 per cent or less. Labor could thus be confident of holding back the tide in a couple of seats with margins under the statewide swing. The consensus is fuzzy about individual outcomes, with seemingly only Leichhardt and notionally Labor Dickson on everybody’s list. Most feature any or all out of Flynn, Dawson, Longman and notionally Labor Herbert. Speaking on The Drum, Annabel Crabb noted Labor had been surprised how little attention the Liberal National Party had been paying to Bonner, Petrie, Brisbane and Moreton, but of these it seems only Moreton is entirely safe.

Western Australia. The best guess is that Labor will suffer frustrating defeats in every WA marginal, with Canning, Hasluck, Swan, Cowan and Stirling all emerging in the 0 to 5 per cent zone on the Liberal side of the pendulum. The seat most likely to buck the trend is Canning, which speaks volumes for Alannah MacTiernan’s performance given its 4.3 per cent margin. Labor would still be holding out hope of an upset in Swan or Hasluck. The latter if not the former can probably be relied upon to closely track the statewide swing, which the late polls can’t agree on: Newspoll says 0.3 per cent to Labor and Nielsen says 4 per cent to the Coalition, while the result from Morgan’s small sample came in at 1.2 per cent to the Coalition.

South Australia. Newspoll has the Labor swing in South Australia at 3.7 per cent, which seems on the high side, but we also have an Advertiser poll for the seat of Hindmarsh putting it at 7 per cent. That should make both Sturt and Boothby highly winnable for Labor, but there is a near universal view that Christopher Pyne’s expensive campaign for the former has paid dividends. Boothby on the other hand is expected to go down to the wire.

Elsewhere. There is limited local polling data available, but it is very widely expected that Darwin-based Solomon will be lost to Labor. In Tasmania, a big ticket campaign promise earlier this week suggested the Liberals have not given up on Bass, but most expect Labor to again obtain a clean sweep of the state’s five seats. Certainly they can afford nothing less.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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980 comments

980 thoughts on “Newspoll, Nielsen, Westpoll

  1. sean

    ” I am quite a liberal fan”

    What a tory ponce

  2. Apeman

    [Sausage sandwich at Duffy PS were rubbish.]

    No sausages at all at Inala SS for the first time ever – I guess they didn’t want any crumbs on their lovely new BER school hall

  3. jenauthor

    [That would be a bad sign then as the younger population would be more dominant in that sample. You would expect higher support for Labor from an SMS poll.]

    Not necessarily — I was one of those pollees … and I am not of that demographic — plus you had to sign up to be on the panel … something the younger demographic would be unlikely to do unless they hail from young lib terrritory.

  4. Kevin Bonham

    Morgan SMS “exit poll” (actually weighted panel) 51-49 @1pm

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4568

  5. Thomas Paine

    [Luckily, with Tony Abbott, we have a VISION and a MISSION.]

    Good to see the clowns are out and about today as well.

  6. itsthevibe

    Te undecideds aren’t breaking Labor’s way, from the sound of it.

    Bye bye Julia 🙁

  7. Kevin Bonham

    Actually that link just went to their poll last night, sorry.

  8. museboy

    Thomas Paine

    Even though it’s SMS, surely Morgan would weight the sample accordingly?

  9. gloryconsequence

    itsthevibe has called it at 2.23pm.

  10. Kevin Bonham

    [At 1pm today a special sms Morgan ‘Exit’ Poll shows the primary vote is ALP 38.5% , L-NP 43%, Greens 12% and 6.5% Others and Independents. On a 2 Party Preferred basis this still translates to 51% ALP 49% L-NP as reported in the 7News Morgan Poll last night and this morning on Sunrise.

    This 1pm update is based on 1,211 electors from The Roy Morgan Elector Panel who have texted their vote to the Morgan Poll once they had voted.

    This is the first time that an sms vote on a controlled panel has been recorded through the election.

    Because the original panel is controlled, and their previous voting intention and their vote at the last election is known it is possible to project from the sms ‘exit’ poll to an Australia-wide vote.

    Gary Morgan says:

    We are pleased with the response to this new sms ‘exit’ poll methodology.

    Although this Morgan Poll uses sms technology, it is unlike typical sms voting systems that are open to all and therefore potentially open to interest groups ‘stacking’ the numbers. The sms Morgan ‘Exit’ Poll uses a controlled panel – The Roy Morgan Elector Panel.]

  11. Gary

    [Te undecideds aren’t breaking Labor’s way, from the sound of it.]
    What sound?

  12. vera

    Hi Thomas , like your stirring the pot 😉
    Livens things up and if I’m honest I gotta say I tend to agree with some of your sentiments.

    You’ll like this, a horse called Backstabber started favourite at Doomden today and came second last
    Omen? :evil;

  13. William Bowe

    So notwithstanding that that isn’t a link to it, Morgan have indeed conducted an SMS exit poll showing Labor ahead 51-49?

  14. blues buffett

    BlueSkies

    Thanks for the Party Political. I’m interested in predictions and facts.
    I used to be in Greenway until recently. I guess Louise felt, after the redistribution, Greenway was too risky. Hence her move to safer Macquarie, along with the Windsor & Richmond voters.
    What’s your call on Greenway? And on the House Of Reps? Numbers please.

  15. lefty e

    Kevin, that Morgan on undecided voters is moderately encouraging.

    Fact is: An Abbott win remains the least likely outcome today.

    Possible – most certainly; but the least likely eventuality.

    COME ON!

  16. The Finnigans

    Amigo Vera, i got a song for you. but it is embargoed until the close of poll tonight

  17. sprocket_

    undecideds will follow the normal distribution – probably more likely to ALP as many don’t care about politics so don’t follow the media and pick up the bias

  18. brisoz

    when we having polling count starts, we might have a better picture, these polls are just nerve racking.

  19. Centre

    [It was a knifing for the sake of a power grab and nothing else]

    Absolute utter crap. Rudd was replaced because of poll numbers and the mining tax.

    Now Bludgers can relate to the stupidity of your stock market comments more.

  20. Kevin Bonham

    [So notwithstanding that that isn’t a link to it, Morgan have indeed conducted an SMS exit poll showing Labor ahead 51-49?]

    Correct. See quote at #960. It seems this is not a poll with a 51-49 raw result but rather a projection of 51-49 from their knowledge of their panel.

  21. victoria

    brisoz

    next there will be a poll regarding the poll!

  22. Possum Comitatus

    William went:

    [So notwithstanding that that isn’t a link to it, Morgan have indeed conducted an SMS exit poll showing Labor ahead 51-49?]

    Yep: http://twitter.com/roymorganonline/status/21721589070

  23. jenauthor

    Yes William — I was polled about noon. They also polled me about a fortnight ago — so they will know if there has been a change of voter intention.

  24. vera

    Finns
    I can’t wait :kiss:

    What is the polling for the dolphin vote?

  25. sean

    “Yes, they’re so gutted they’re willing to hand the lunatic the keys in order to make a pint?”

    Jen, are you suggesting that people who are p’d about recent labor events are going to vote liberal???? You really need to get a grip. Neither I, nor 99.9% of disaffected labor supporters, are going to do a thing that helps Abbott get to the lodge.

    Did you say you were an academic?

  26. ruawake

    [Fact is: An Abbott win remains the least likely outcome today. ]

    True, it is possible but not probable. (Getting hit my a meteor is also possible).

    Every bit of info, apart from media ravings, show the ALP in the preferred position.

  27. The Finnigans

    VEra, we dolphins go for the donkey votes

  28. victoria

    slackboy72

    Thanks for linking that article. Excellent analysis, and quite frightening too if the Libs get up today.