Neither Morgan nor Essential finds the government enjoying much of a honeymoon, while Morgan has Anthony Albanese well ahead of Bill Shorten as preferred Labor leader.
Morgan has published its first multi-mode poll since the election, and Essential its second online poll (the latter will henceforth publish on Tuesdays rather than Mondays). Even if you doubt the value of voting intention polling at this point of the cycle, the results are of interest with respect to the Labor leadership. If you don’t doubt the value of voting intention polling, the results are of interest in pointing to a weak Coalition honeymoon.
Starting with voting intention:
• Essential Research has the Coalition lead at 51-49 on the current two-week rolling average, combining results from 1042 respondents in this week’s survey from Thursday to Sunday and 844 from the week before. This leaves the Coalition two points down on a less than spectacular showing last time. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 43%, Labor up one to 37% and the Greens steady on 9%.
• The Morgan SMS, online and face-to-face poll of 2999 respondents, conducted from Saturday to Monday, has the Coalition on 43.5%, Labor on 34%, the Greens on 10.5% and the Palmer United Party on 4%. This compares with election results on current counting of 45.6%, 33.4%, 8.6% and 5.5%. This translates into a headline two-party figure of 50.5-49.5 on respondent-allocated preferences, but it’s a more comfortable 52.5-47.5 on preferences from the September 7 election (though I’m not sure exactly how minor party preference splits were determined given all the votes aren’t in). It is of course enormously unlikely that minor party preference allocations would have changed so dramatically over a fortnight, a further pointer to the dubiousness of respondent-allocation.
• Morgan has good news for Anthony Albanese, who is favoured over Bill Shorten 41% to 23% among all voters, 46% to 32% among Labor voters, 38% to 18% among Coalition voters and 48% to 12% among Greens voters. The gap is widest and narrowest and Albanese and Shorten’s respective home states of New South Wales and Victoria. The qualitative findings here are unusually interesting: “Electors who preferred Anthony Albanese often mentioned Shorten’s role in the demise of former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, Shorten’s strong links to the unions, and also his links to the Governor-General as well as Albanese’s better policy expertise, experience and personality.”
• Essential finds Tony Abbott with similarly modest leads as preferred prime minister over both Albanese (37-31) and Shorten (37-32).
• Essential at least has had a bounce on personal approval, in net terms at least – his approval is up only one point since his last poll as Opposition Leader on September 2 to 41%, but his disapproval is down 13% to 36% (making for a big increase in “don’t know”.
• Essential finds 45% concerned about the lack of women in cabinet against 50% not concerned, with splits of 39-57 among men, 51-42 among women, 67-29 among Labor voters and 17-80 among Coalition voters.
• Also featured in Essential are questions on trust in use of personal information by various professions and organisations, and the value or otherwise of foreign investment in farm land.
UPDATE: Morgan has kindly provided me with its qualitative responses from the Labor leadership question, and I’ve run the responses through a word cloud generator. Note that in doing so I’ve merged together a couple of words like “don’t like”, “don’t trust” and “prime minister”. You can get a considerably bigger image by clicking on the images below.
First up, the 443 responses from Anthony Albanese supporters, for whom the primary reason for backing Albanese appears to have been Bill Shorten:
And now the 229 responses from Bill Shorten supporters: