This week’s Newspoll, conducted April 27-30 from a sample of 1,538, gave Labor a 53-47 lead, unchanged since last week. Primary votes were 38% Labor (up one), 36% Coalition (steady), 11% Greens (steady), 5% One Nation (up two), 4% UAP (steady) and 6% for all Others (down three).
51% were dissatisfied with Scott Morrison’s performance (down three), and 44% were satisfied (up two), for a net approval of -7, up five points. Anthony Albanese’s net approval improved three points to -9. Morrison’s lead as better PM narrowed to 45-39 from 46-37.
56% thought it was time for a change of government, while 44% thought the Coalition deserved to be returned. Newspoll figures are from The Poll Bludger.
Last week I anticipated One Nation would increase its support, as polls previously expected One Nation to contest only the 59 of 151 House of Representatives seats they had in 2019, but they are actually contesting 149.
With less than three weeks to go until the May 21 election, both Newspoll and Resolve continue to show Labor in a clear election-winning position.
The best news for the Coalition from these polls is the five-point increase in Morrison’s net approval in Newspoll to -7, despite the negative headlines last week owing to the ABS inflation report. If Morrison can improve his ratings further to about net zero by the election, the Coalition could be returned.
Resolve poll: 54-46 to Labor as Greens surge
A Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, conducted April 26-30 from a sample of 1,408, gave Labor a 54-46 lead by both respondent and previous election preferences, a two-point gain for Labor by respondent preferences since last fortnight’s Resolve poll. This is the first time Resolve has given a two party vote.
Primary votes were 34% Labor (steady), 33% Coalition (down two), 15% Greens (up four), 5% One Nation (up one), 5% UAP (up one), 4% independents (down five) and 4% others (steady). 76% (up three) said they were committed to their current first preference, while 24% (down three) were not yet committed.
This is the first Resolve poll taken since nominations closed. Only independents that appear to be in contention for their seat are now being included in the readout, resulting in a crash for the independents figure.
51% thought Morrison was doing a bad job, and 42% a good job, for a net approval of -9, down five points. Albanese’s net approval was down one point to -11. Morrison led Albanese as preferred PM by 39-33 (38-30 last fortnight).
The Liberals and Morrison maintained a 42-27 lead over Labor and Albanese on economic management (43-23 last fortnight). But on keeping the cost of living low, Labor had a 34-28 lead (31-31 previously).
Other interesting polls
In the Ipsos issues monitor for April, cost of living was rated a top issue by 50% (up six since March and 18 since January), healthcare by 39% (steady and down nine) and the economy by 32% (steady and down four).
Labor led the Coalition by 35-27 with 7% Greens on handling cost of living. On healthcare, Labor led by 37-26 with 7% Greens, while the Coalition just led Labor 33-30 on the economy with 7% Greens.
The left-wing Australia Institute polled on Labor and Coalition messages, finding more people agreed with Labor messages than with Coalition ones. This poll was conducted April 19-22 from a sample of 1,002.
How the polls have moved during past election campaigns
I requested this graph from The Poll Bludger, which shows how polls have moved during the three-year period from one election to the next. These graphs go from the 1996-98 term to the 2013-16 term. Polls for the 2016-19 term can be seen at The Poll Bludger. The top graphs for each term are two party preferred and the bottom primary votes.
Except for 2019, the final polls were accurate for the other elections covered. In 1998, the Coalition won a House majority despite losing the two party vote by 51.0-49.0.
The Coalition was the government from 1996-2007, Labor from 2007-2013 and the Coalition from 2013 until the present. Perhaps due to the Mark Latham factor, there was sharp late movement to the Coalition government in 2004, and to a lesser extent in 2007.
However, there was sharp late movement to Labor in 2001 as the Coalition’s September 11 bounce wore off. And in 2013, the movement was to the Coalition opposition as Kevin Rudd’s second honeymoon as PM wore off quickly.
In other cases, the major poll movements occurred before the election campaign, and the campaign itself had little impact. There wasn’t much gain for the Coalition in the 2019 campaign polls; the final polls were wrong.
Inflation up 2.1% in March quarter
The ABS reported March 27 that inflation increased 2.1% in the March quarter, for a 5.1% rate in the 12 months to March, the highest since 2001. Core inflation increased 1.4% in March for a 3.7% annual rate, the highest since 2009.
The 2001 inflation increase was due to the introduction of the GST. We have to go back to 1995 for an equal inflation rate that was not affected by the GST.
The high inflation will put pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates Tuesday. Inflation is likely a key reason for Labor’s poll lead this year, as voters hate price rises on food and petrol.
Last week’s Morgan poll: 54.5-45.5 to Labor
A Morgan poll, conducted April 18-24 from a sample of 1,393, gave Labor a 54.5-45.5 lead, a 0.5-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week’s poll. Primary votes were 35.5% Coalition (steady), 35% Labor (steady), 12% Greens (down two), 4.5% One Nation (steady), 1.5% UAP (steady), 8% independents (up 1.5) and 3.5% others (up 0.5).
Seat polls: Parramatta and Wentworth
The Poll Bludger reported last Thursday that Redbridge polls for Equality Australia in the NSW seats of Parramatta and Wentworth gave Labor a 55-45 lead in Parramatta (53.5-46.5 to Labor in 2019), and independent Allegra Spender a 53-47 lead in Wentworth over Liberal Dave Sharma.
LGBTIQ+ equality and transgender participation in women’s sport were ranked dead last in both seats as “vote determining issues”. These polls were taken April 19-21 from samples of 800-900 in each seat.
SA upper house final result
Labor won 27 of the 47 lower house seats at the March 19 South Australian election. Preferences for the upper house were distributed electronically April 27. ABC election analyst Antony Green reported that Labor won five of the 11 seats up at this election, the Liberals four, the Greens one and One Nation one.
At the 2018 election, Labor won four of the 11 seats, the Liberals four, SA-Best two and the Greens one. Combined, Labor now holds nine of the 22 seats, the Liberals eight, the Greens two, SA-Best two and One Nation one.
Labor will not be able to pass legislation opposed by the Liberals with the Greens alone, but will also need support from either SA-Best or One Nation.
A quota was one-twelfth of the vote or 8.3%. Final primary votes gave Labor 4.44 quotas, the Liberals 4.13, the Greens 1.08, One Nation 0.51, the Liberal Democrats 0.40, Family First 0.37, Legalise Cannabis 0.25 and Animal Justice 0.18.
Four Labor, four Liberals and one Green were immediately elected. After preferences, One Nation had 0.64 quotas, Labor’s fifth candidate 0.62 and Family First 0.53, with the rest exhausting. Labor won the final seat by 0.09 quotas, with Family First overtaking the Liberal Democrats on preferences.