The ReachTEL robopoll has followed last week’s strong Coalition result with another 52-48 to the Coalition by last election preferences. However, the other polls in the field last week and this week disagree, and have it either tied or a 51-49 Labor lead. If ReachTEL is correct, the Coalition is very likely to win, but if other polls are right, Labor is a real chance. ReachTEL has been very accurate on primary votes at recent elections, so it should not be dismissed. Here is this week’s poll table.
ReachTEL has been using respondent allocated preferences as its headline figure during the election campaign, and these were 51-49 to the Coalition, a 1 point gain for the Coalition. A calculation based on the decimal primary votes gives the Coalition an unchanged 52-48 lead by last election preferences.
Ipsos' respondent allocated preferences were the same as the previous election method, with both at 51-49 to Labor, unchanged on last fortnight. There was a 3 point fall in primary support for both majors, with Others gaining 4 points to be at 14%.
Ipsos has no difference between respondent allocation and previous election methods, while ReachTEL’s respondent allocation has Labor doing one point better. Ipsos has the Greens at 14%, while ReachTEL has them at 9.1%. Greens preferences could be going to the Coalition at a higher rate than in 2013, as Greens voters are not as hostile to Turnbull as they were to Abbott. However, Others may be more anti-establishment than in previous elections, and their preferences may favour Labor more than in 2013.
The high Others vote is likely to reflect some people who want to vote for the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT). However, the NXT has only nominated candidates in seven of the 139 seats outside SA, so people who want to vote NXT will have to vote for someone else in the vast majority of seats. As a result, national major party support is likely to be understated.
Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate has been influenced by ReachTEL, and is now at 50.7% Two Party Preferred (2PP) to the Coalition, a 0.4 point gain for the Coalition since last week.
The Poll Bludger’s pre-Newspoll BludgerTrack is at 50.4% 2PP to the Coalition, a 0.2 point gain for Labor since last week. Primary votes are 40.3% for the Coalition, 33.2% for Labor, 10.9% for the Greens and 4.4% for the NXT. There has been a 0.5 point drop in the Coalition primary vote. Surprisingly, BludgerTrack currently has a minority Coalition government, with 75 of 150 seats because of big swings to Labor in Queensland and WA, where they can take many seats.
Newspoll seat polls
Newspoll had many individual seat polls, conducted between 13-15 June with samples of 500-600 per electorate. In general, these had Labor a little short of where they need to be in the vital seats. This is consistent with national polling because personal vote effects make these seats slightly stronger for the Coalition than the on-paper margin.
Newspoll also assessed four non-classic seats, finding Labor ahead of the Greens in Batman, the NXT ahead of the Liberals in Mayo, and the Liberals easily winning Sturt.
In New England, the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce is leading Independent Tony Windsor 51-49, a 3 point gain for Joyce since March. Primary votes are 48% for Joyce, 36% for Windsor, 7% for Labor and 3% for the Greens. If Joyce’s vote is in the mid 40’s, Windsor has a good chance, but Joyce’s vote is too close to 50% in this poll.
Except in Mayo, these electorate results used previous election preference flows, and Labor may be doing better with Other preferences than in 2013.
In Herbert, Newspoll had Pauline Hanson’s One Nation at 11%. Hanson would probably win a Queensland Senate seat with about 5% of the Queensland Senate vote, and this result shows that Hanson could win. Kevin Bonham thinks Hanson’s support has grown because the Liberals under Turnbull do not have the appeal to Hanson-type voters that they had under Abbott and John Howard.
In ReachTEL, Turnbull’s (total good) minus (total poor) rating was unchanged at -9. Shorten’s equivalent rating was down one point to -10.
In Ipsos, Turnbull’s approval was 47% (up 2) and his disapproval was 42% (steady), for a net approval of +5. Shorten’s net approval was -4, up 2 points. Ipsos has been giving turnbull far more favourable ratings than other polls.
In Newspoll, 36% were satisfied with Turnbull (down 1), and 51% were dissatisfied (steady), for a net approval of -15. Shorten’s net approval improved three points to -16.
In ReachTEL, Turnbull had a 15 point lead as better PM, up from 11 points last week. In Ipsos, Turnbull led by 14 points, down from 18 last fortnight. In Newspoll, Turnbull led by an unchanged 15 points.
Notes on these polls
Labor was only ahead 52-48 in ReachTEL on best party to manage the rollout of the NBN. Note that this question was about managing the rollout, not which NBN would be preferred. 69% said the Medicare system was good or very good, 25% thought it was average, and only 6% poor or very poor.
In Ipsos, the Coalition continued to lead 54-26 as the party expected to win, compared with 55-22 last fortnight. The Coalition led 58-29 on the economy, 51-28 on interest rates and 47-32 on asylum seekers, with Labor leading 50-35 on health, 51-37 on education and 46-28 on the environment. These results may reflect a pro-incumbent lean in Ipsos issues polling.
Senate preferences on How to Vote cards
Kevin Bonham has Senate recommendations of various parties' How to Vote cards. Note that these are recommendations, and voters can choose their own preferences. In the old system, the only way voters could choose their preferences was by filling in every square below the line.
About half of major party voters follow How to Vote cards, so these cards could be important. The ideal situation for a minor party with about 3% would be to have a major party that preferences the minor party have about 2.5% left over after filling all quotas.
However, if the major party is in the race for one of the last seats, or near quota, or just over quota, the minor party will receive very little help from the major party. As a result, we will not know whether major party How to Vote cards will be important until we have results.
Greens' voters are far less likely to follow How to Vote cards than major party voters, and the NXT is issuing open cards. Other parties will not have a strong follow the card rate because they cannot staff polling booths, and micro party voters are more independent in any case.
UK Brexit referendum this Friday
The UK Brexit referendum will be held on Thursday, with results coming in Friday Melbourne time. Polls close at 7am Friday Melbourne time, but it takes a long time to count votes in the UK. Leave had taken the lead in the last week, but this was prior to last Thursday’s murder of pro-Remain Labour MP Jo Cox.
Authors: Adrian Beaumont, PhD Student, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne