Adrian Beaumont, The University of MelbourneThis week’s Newspoll, conducted September 29 to October 3 from a sample of 1,545, gave Labor a 53-47 lead, unchanged from last fortnight’s Newspoll. Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady), 37% Labor (down one), 11% Greens (up one), 2% One Nation (down one) and 13% for all Others (up one).
It is likely Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party makes up a sizeable fraction of the Others vote. UAP ads have been ubiquitous, and they won 3.4% at the 2019 election, more than the 3.1% for One Nation, although One Nation did not contest all seats.
49% were dissatisfied with Scott Morrison’s performance (down one), and 48% were satisfied (up two), for a net approval of -1, up three points. Anthony Albanese’s net approval improved one point to -10. Morrison led as better PM by 47-34 (47-35 last fortnight).
For the large majority of this term, each Newspoll has been conducted three weeks apart. The two-week gap this time suggests they will do more polls in the lead-up to the election, due by May 2022. Newspoll figures are from The Poll Bludger.
By 59-31, voters approved of the AUKUS agreement, though the question did not mention the time to get the new submarines. 46% thought AUKUS would make Australia more secure, 29% that it would make no difference and 14% thought it would make us less secure. By 75-15, voters thought China posed a significant threat to our national security.
Labor has had a lead of 53-47 or more in all Newspolls conducted since July, but I am sceptical this solid position for Labor will mean a victory at the election. Once vaccination targets are met and lockdowns ease in Melbourne and Sydney, the economy is likely to rapidly recover, boosting the Coalition’s chances.
Furthermore, the Resolve polls in August and September have been far better for the Coalition than Newspoll. As I wrote after the late August Newspoll disagreed with Resolve, the different message in Resolve should not be ignored.
The Guardian’s datablog has 45.2% of the population (not 16+) fully vaccinated, up from 37.2% two weeks ago. We rank 33 of 38 OECD countries in share of population fully vaccinated, unchanged since last fortnight. The Age shows 56.5% of 16+ are fully vaccinated and 79.4% have received at least one dose.
Essential and Morgan polls
In last week’s Essential poll, the federal government had a 45-30 good rating on its response to COVID (43-35 in mid-September, 39-36 in late August). The NSW government’s good rating has surged 13 points since late August to 53%, while Victoria fell back to 44% good after rising six points to 50% in mid-September.
50% of Victorian respondents said they didn’t have confidence in their state’s roadmap out of lockdown, compared with 40% of NSW respondents.
A late September Morgan poll from a sample of 2,752 gave Labor a 54-46 lead, a 1.5% gain for Labor since the mid-September poll. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (down 2.5%), 36% Labor (up 1%), 12.5% Greens (down 0.5%), 3.5% One Nation (up 0.5%) and 12% for all Others (up 1.5%).
Essential vs Resolve’s issue questions
In Essential, the Liberals had a 15-point lead over Labor on national security and a 10-point lead on economic management, while Labor led by 13 points on climate change, and 18 on fair wages and workplace conditions. Since October 2019, Labor has improved five points on the economy.
Essential’s issue questions give very different outcomes from Resolve’s, where Labor led the Liberals by just one point on the environment and climate change in September. Resolve gives a “someone else” option, and people who support the Greens on this issue select “someone else”, but a large majority of them prefer Labor to the Liberals.
It is likely there is also a pro-incumbent skew in Resolve’s questions, as they use “the Liberals and Morrison” versus “Labor and Albanese”. Morrison has had large leads over Albanese as better PM, so this formulation likely skews towards the current PM.
Newspoll quarterly aggregate data: July to September
Newspoll provides state and demographic breakdowns from all its polls conducted during a three-month period. As reported by The Poll Bludger on September 27, the September quarter Newspoll data gave Labor a 52-48 lead in NSW, a two-point gain for Labor since the June quarter, and a four-point gain since the 2019 election.
In Victoria, Labor’s lead blew out five points from June to 58-42, a five point gain for Labor since the last election. In Queensland, the Coalition led by 55-45, a two-point gain for them since July, but a 3.4% swing to Labor since the election. In WA, Labor led by 54-46, which would be a swing of almost 10% to Labor since the election.
Perrottet set to become next NSW premier
Gladys Berejiklian announced she would resign as New South Wales premier on Friday, owing to ICAC investigations. Media reports, such as in The Guardian, indicate that the right-aligned treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, is set to be elected NSW Liberal leader and thus premier at a Liberal party room meeting on Tuesday under a factional deal.
Berejiklian is also resigning as Member for Willoughby (held by 21.0%), so there will be a byelection soon. There will be other byelections in Bega (Lib 6.9%), where the Liberal MP Andrew Constance has announced he will contest the federal seat of Gilmore, and in Monaro (Nat 11.6%), as Nationals leader John Barilaro is retiring. Other NSW MPs may quit in the near future, so there could be several byelections on the same date.
Nobody wins German election
At the September 26 German election, the centre-left SPD won 25.7% (up 5.2% from 2017), the conservative CDU/CSU 24.1% (down 8.8%), the Greens 14.8% (up 5.9%), the pro-business FDP 11.5% (up 0.8%), the far-right AfD 10.3% (down 2.3%) and the far-left Left 4.9% (down 4.3%).
The Left was below the 5% threshold, but won three of the 299 single-member seats to barely retain a proportional allocation of seats. Right-wing parties combined defeated the combined left by a 45.9-45.4 margin, and this is reflected in parliament where left-wing parties won 363 of the 735 seats, just short of the 368 needed for a majority.
No other party will cooperate with the AfD, but no government of the left can be formed. Protracted negotiations are likely to achieve a governing coalition. I live blogged this election for The Poll Bludger.