This analysis first appeared on The Conversation website and is republished here with permission under a creative commons licence

Polling analyst for Australia’s The Conversation site, Adrian Beaumont, analyses three big polls showing some encouragement for Scott Morrison’s incumbent Liberal-National coalition with days to go to the national election

The final Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, conducted May 12-17 from a sample of 2,049, gave Labor just a 52-48 lead by 2019 election preferences, a two-point gain for the Coalition since last fortnight’s Resolve. By respondent preferences, Labor’s lead was narrower at 51-49, a three-point gain for the Coalition.

Primary votes were 34% Coalition (up one), 31% Labor (down three), 14% Greens (down one), 6% One Nation (up one), 4% UAP (down one), 6% independents (up two) and 4% others (steady). 86% said they were now committed to their first preference (up 10), while 14% were not yet committed (down 10).

50% thought Scott Morrison was doing a bad job and 43% a good job for a net approval of -7, up two points. Anthony Albanese gained three points for a net approval of -8. Morrison led as preferred PM by 40-36 (39-33 previously).

Labor and Albanese led the Liberals and Morrison by 32-30 on keeping the cost of living low (34-28 previously). On economic management, the Liberals led by 40-30 (42-27 last time).

The poll supplemented its usual online sample of about 1,400 for campaign polls with several hundred respondents interviewed by telephone.

In the three polls so far this week, Resolve has had the most dramatic narrowing. Essential has generally had better results for the Coalition than other polls, and Labor’s lead after preferences has been as low as one point twice this year. The narrowing in Morgan was not all it seemed.

I don’t think the Coalition’s campaign launch on Sunday and their housing policy is responsible, as the fieldwork for these polls began well before then. With Morrison’s ratings still well in negative territory, the narrowing may reflect hesitation about voting Labor.

I expect more polls from Newspoll, Ipsos and perhaps a final Morgan poll by Friday night.

Essential: 48-46 to Labor with undecided included

The final Essential poll, conducted May 11-16 from a sample of 1,600, gave Labor a 48-46 lead with undecided included (49-45 last fortnight). Primary votes were 36% Coalition (steady), 35% Labor (steady), 9% Greens (down one), 4% One Nation (up one), 3% UAP (down one), 6% Others (up one) and 7% undecided (up one).

With undecided excluded, the two party would be 51-49 to Labor. Analyst Kevin Bonham estimated 51.6-48.4 to Labor by 2019 preference flows.

49% disapproved of Morrison’s performance (up one since April) and 43% approved (down one), for a net approval of -6, down two points. Albanese’s net approval was up one point to +1. Morrison led as better PM by 40-37 (40-36 previously).

34% said the government deserved to be re-elected (up one since last fortnight), and 49% said it was time to give someone else a go (up three).

Morgan poll: Labor’s lead narrows to 53-47, but …

A national Morgan poll, conducted May 9-15 from a sample of 1,366, gave Labor a 53-47 lead, a 1.5-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week’s poll. Primary votes were 34% Labor (down 1.5), 34% Coalition (steady), 13% Greens (steady), 4% One Nation (steady), 1% UAP (steady), 9% independents (up 0.5) and 5% others (up one).

This two party result is based on 2019 preference flows. Until last week, Morgan was using respondent preferences, which were better for Labor. Bonham gets a Labor lead of 53.9-46.1 from Morgan’s primaries, implying Morgan miscalculated the 2019 flows.

It’s likely Morgan’s high independent vote is because they continue to ask for independents in all seats, even though most seats don’t have viable independents. Resolve was the other pollster that used to have high independent votes, but dropped the independent option in its last poll in most seats, leading to a surge for the Greens.

It’s not mentioned in the poll report, but Labor’s two party estimate using respondent preferences was actually up 0.5 points from the previous week to a 56.5-43.5 lead for Labor.

Adrian Beaumont is an Honorary Associate in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne

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