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Election Polling: A ReachTel Robocall

This is what a ReachTEL opinion poll robocall sounds like.

The message was received by my mobile phone at 6.01pm tonight.

The first question asked who I would vote for if an election were to be held today. The options were:

  1. Labor Party
  2. Liberal Party
  3. The Greens
  4. The Nick Xenophon Team
  5. Any other minor party or independent candidate
  6. Unsure

Because no answer was provided, the message cuts out.

Julie Owens Rebukes Media Over Coverage Of Opinion Polls And Leadership

Frustration over opinion polls and leadership speculation was on display today at the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research.

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, was obviously irritated by media questions about the Nielsen poll released today. Almost speechless, Plibersek allowed the Labor member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, to take over and deliver a rebuke to the gathered media about medical research and children’s health.

Owens holds Parramatta with a margin of 4.37%. She suffered a 5.49% swing against her at the 2010 election. She has held the seat since 2004.

Gillard: I Don’t Comment On Polls

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has doggedly refused to comment on poor opinion poll figures published today.

The Nielsen poll in Fairfax newspapers The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald shows the ALP primary vote on 30% and the Coalition leading the ALP by 56% to 44% on the two-party-preferred vote.

The Coalition’s primary vote in the Nielsen poll is 47%. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 42%, compared to Julia Gillard’s 40%. [Read more…]

Day 26: The Conventional Wisdom Turns

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong,” wrote H.L. Mencken. He might well have said something similar about interpreting Australian elections.

This week the conventional wisdom has turned. Whereas Julia Gillard was losing this time last week, now she is seen as “back on track”, “playing to Labor’s strengths” and “out-performing Tony Abbott”. Add your own cliché. Take your pick and pontificate.

The wisdom is supported by an assortment of events.

Tony Abbott admitted to Kerry O’Brien on Tuesday night that he’s not a “tech head” and doesn’t really understand the technicalities of broadband. [Read more…]

Galahs And Polls

Walk into a pet shop and the resident galah will be talking about microeconomic reform. So said Paul Keating some 20 years ago as the last Labor government went about some significant policy renovation.

GalahsIn 2010 the galahs instead seem to be interpreting opinion polls. Recent weeks have been especially trying for us simple souls attempting to work out whether Kevin Rudd is a dead duck.

In January, The Australian reported that Newspolls covering October-December 2009 showed the Rudd government in a landslide winning position with 57 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote. The Morgan poll also said Labor was on 57 per cent. An Essential Research poll in January said Labor was ahead of the Coalition by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

These figures were essentially what we had been reading for over two years. They indicated a newly-elected government coasting to re-election against an Opposition that couldn’t surpass the mid-40s. [Read more…]

Australians Speak: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

The Lowy Institute for International Policy has conducted a major poll to gauge the attitudes of Australians on foreign policy issues.

The survey, Australians Speak: 2005, was launched today by Allan Gyngell, Executive Director of The Lowy Institute.

Remarks at the poll launch by Allan Gyngell, Executive Director, Lowy Institute for International Policy.

We’re releasing today the first of what we intend to be a regular series of Lowy Institute polls on the way Australians look at the world. We’ve called it “Australians speak: 2005”. This is the most comprehensive such survey undertaken in this country. Our objective was not so much to poll Australians’ attitudes on current issues – although we want to do some of that – but to ask questions that will let us understand some of the deeper issues of how Australians think about the world and our place in it and how they want us to act in it. Assertions are frequently made by politicians and commentators, journalists and analysts, about how ordinary Australians think – we wanted to find out how accurate these assertions are. [Read more…]

Another Poll Shows Coalition In Trouble As Ryan By-Election Nears

An AC Nielsen-AgePoll published today provides more gloomy news for the coalition, only days away from a crucial by-election test in the Brisbane electorate of Ryan.

The Nielsen poll has the coalition’s primary vote at 32%, statistically even with the 30% rating published last week by its competitor, the Morgan Poll.

Nielsen has the ALP on 45% of the primary vote and a massive 59% on a two-party-preferred basis. If replicated in an election, these figures would reduce the coalition to a mere rump in the House of Representatives.

Significantly, the Nielsen poll shows a hardening of opposition to the GST, with 51% of respondents expressing disapproval of the tax.

Poll Shows Support For Howard Slipping Amongst Young People

A new poll published today in The Australian shows that younger voters, the so-called “Generation X-ers” aged between 18 and 24, have deserted the Howard government in favour of the ALP.

The poll also shows that national support for the government is at 45% to the Opposition’s 43%, effectively putting the major parties at level-pegging.

Support for the ALP amongst 18-24 year olds is 45%, compared to 42% for the government, a shift of 9% in the past three months.

Polls such as this need to be treated with caution, but there does now appear to be a trend towards the ALP in a number of polls. This shift is supported by the results of this year’s state elections in Victoria and New South Wales.

Politics in 2000 will be dominated by the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 and the accompanying personal income tax cuts. The Howard government is attempting to make a mark in social policy areas, whilst the Opposition is debating the merits of relying on an anti-GST backlash as compared to developing a comprehensive set of new policies for the election scheduled for 2001.

A swing of 1% against the government would cost it around 10 seats and deliver government to Kim Beazley. A 2% swing would cost it another 10 seats. It is generally agreed that the next election is there to be won or lost by either side.

Early Opinion Polls For 1996 Federal Election

These tables show the results of early opinion polls in the 1996 federal election.

The second table shows results for the “most preferred prime minister” question.

Federal Election Opinion Polls
Poll Date taken Sample Size ALP L/NP Dem Green Others ALP 2-Party L/NP 2-Party
Actual 1993 Result March 13, 1993 approx 10 million 44.8 44.3 3.8 1.6 5.5 51.44 48.56
Morgan Dec 30/Jan6-7 1996 2121 face to face 39.5 43.5 6.0 5.5 5.5 48 52
Newspoll published Jan 29 1996 not stated 40 50 2 2 6
AGB McNair Age Poll Jan 26 1996 1276 40 45 4 5 6 47 53
Quadrant Jan 26-27 1996 1527 telephone 41 48 5 6 47 53
Morgan Jan 1996 46 54


Most Preferred Prime Minister
Poll Date taken Sample Size Keating Howard Don’t Know
Morgan Dec 30/Jan6-7 1996 2121 face to face 47 41 12
AGB McNair Age Poll Jan 26-27 1996 1276 43 46
Quadrant Jan 26-27 1996 1527 telephone 47 48 5