Poll Way Aggregate: ALP 50.8%, L/NP 49.2%

Well, August has rolled around so it’s about time for a new Poll Way Aggregate. Since our last look at political polling on 16 July we’ve had a brace of new polls come in while fights over asylum seekers, cars, the budget and carbon pricing have kicked off or continued.

As always, polls older than one calendar month have been excluded, as have polls that fall outside the margin of error of subsequent polls from that same House. The polls used in the most recent Aggregate are below, including a total of 20,116 respondents:

HOUSE

DATE

ALP   (2PP)

L/NP (2PP)

Newspoll

5-7/7/2013

50%

50%

Nielsen

11-13/7/2013

50%

50%

Essential

11-14/7/2013

48%

52%

Morgan (Multi)

12-14/7/2013

52.5%

47.5%

ReachTEL

18/07/2013

49%

51%

Morgan (Multi)

19-21/7/2013

52.5%

47.5%

Newspoll

19-21/7/2013

48%

52%

Galaxy

23-25/7/2013

50%

50%

Essential

25-28/7/2013

49%

51%

Morgan (Multi)

26-28/7/2013

52%

48%

Since the last Aggregate, the ALP has had a slight uptick of less than 1 per cent, which really suggests that there has been no real change. The narrative in the media over the last two weeks regarding polling has largely been that Labor’s momentum has stalled, and while that’s one way to read these numbers, the other might be that the polls are actually accurately measuring what the electorate’s views are. Under Gillard, Labor was unpopular while under Rudd, Labor is in with a chance – there has been little change because the views of people have been constant.

In the last Aggregate we discussed the effects of the Morgan (Multi) poll, and how it might be over-inflating Labor’s figures. Once again Morgan has been consistently coming in higher than the other polls as seen in both the two-party preferred and primary vote tables:

HOUSE

DATE

ALP 1°

L/NP 1°

GRN 1°

‘Other’ 1°

Newspoll

5-7/7/2013

38%

42%

9%

11%

Nielsen

11-13/7/2013

39%

44%

9%

8%

Essential

11-14/7/2013

39%

46%

7%

8%

Morgan (Multi)

12-14/7/2013

42%

41%

7%

10%

ReachTEL

18/07/2013

39.3%

45.4%

8.3%

7%

Morgan (Multi)

19-21/7/2013

41.5%

41%

9%

8.5%

Newspoll

19-21/7/2013

37%

45%

10%

8%

Galaxy

23-25/7/2013

40%

44%

9%

7%

Essential

25-28/7/2013

39%

44%

9%

8%

Morgan (Multi)

26-28/7/2013

38.5%

41.5%

10.5%

9.5%

The thing is, though, despite being consistently higher, Morgan is consistent. As are all the polls with their usual House biases. Other analyses of polls adjust for these perceived biases while we at the Poll Way avoid doing so for fear of introducing our own bias. As the numbers come in, we’ll just put them up. That being said, a less than 2 point spread in the 2PP scores is consistent with most of the polls as well as analyses done elsewhere. The only story that anyone can anyone can confidently tell is that it’s close, very close. The Poll Way’s own numbers, however, do detect a small swing to the ALP at both a two-party preferred and primary vote level with primary vote scores coming in at: ALP 39.8%, L/NP 42.8%, GRN 8.8% and ‘Other’ 8.7%.

The primary vote shows almost 1 for 1 stability for the Coalition and Green votes from the last aggregate, with a movement of 1% to the ALP coming almost exclusively from the ‘Other’ column - probably as disenfranchised non-lefty voters come back to Labor after flirting with third parties and independents.

Anecdotally, there are stories of many traditional Labor voters who were turned off by Julia Gillard but who wouldn’t vote Liberal or Green and who were attracted to start-ups like Katter et al. They clearly exist and they are coming back to Labor.

Poll Way Aggregate: ALP 50.2%, L/NP 49.8%

Welcome to the Poll Way’s new home on the internet. We’ve finally moved into our new digs and we have to say, conducting our business on these new-fangled intarwebs is quite the excitement.

With the release of this week’s Nielsen poll, something in the order of 21,000 Australians have now been polled nationally since the election of Kevin Rudd as Labor leader by caucus on 26 June. Nielsen is also the last of the 5 major polling houses in Australia to release results since Kevin Rudd’s return as leader, which the Poll Way is marking by conducting it’s first Aggregate since the new regime.

As always, the Aggregate represents a weighted average of all polls, excluding every second Essential poll (to avoid double counting samples included in their rolling two week averages), any polls that fall outside of the margin of error of that house’s subsequent polls, and any poll older that one calendar month after it was completed. For the purposes of the Aggregate, Morgan polls using different techniques are treated as different polls. These criteria give us a sample size of 15,524 electors. Two party preferred results are given below.

HOUSE

DATE

ALP (2PP)

L/NP (2PP)

Morgan (SMS)

26/6/2013

49.5%

50.5%

ReachTEL

27/6/2013

48%

52%

Galaxy

27-28/6/2013

49%

51%

Newspoll

28-30/6/2013

49%

51%

Essential

4-7/7/2013

48%

52%

Morgan (Multi)

5-7/7/2013

54.5%

45.5%

Newspoll

5-7/7/2013

50%

50%

Nielsen

11-13/7/2013

50%

50%

The first thing you’ll notice about the above table is that despite the excitement created in the community around Kevin Rudd’s return, most of the polls since 26 June have come in in favour of the Coalition, which would give us a straight two party preferred average of ALP 49.75% and L/NP 50.25%. However, the Morgan (Multi) poll in the above table comes in heavily for Labor and, with a sample size of over 3,500 respondents, tilts the Poll Way Aggregate in favour of them, ALP 50.2%, L/NP 49.2% – essentially swapping the result of a straight average.

The Poll Way Aggregate has also been calculated for primary vote values.

HOUSE

DATE

ALP (Primary)

L/NP (Primary)

GRN (Primary)

‘Other’ (1°)

Morgan (SMS)

26/6/2013

38%

43%

8.5%

10.5%

ReachTEL

27/6/2013

38.3%

45.1%

8.7%

7.8%

Galaxy

27-28/6/2013

38%

44%

10%

8%

Newspoll

28-30/6/2013

35%

43%

11%

11%

Essential

4-7/7/2013

38%

46%

8%

7%

Morgan (Multi)

5-7/7/2013

41.5%

39.5%

8.5%

10.5%

Newspoll

5-7//2013

38%

42%

9%

11%

Nielsen

11-13/7/2013

39%

44%

9%

8%

Poll watchers will see that the most striking feature of the primary vote is the dramatic recovery of Labor since Kevin Rudd’s reinstallment, shifting Labor out of the high 20s and into the high 30s – a base from which they can contest an election. Having said that, though, the Coalition primary vote looks relatively secure. There has been an initial drop since June 26, however it is not by as much as Labor’s has increased and has remained stable since. This makes the Morgan (Multi) results appear even more curious, as they have the Coalition dropping below 40%, and even have Labor ahead on primary. This seems an unlikely proposition given both historical results and other polling data coming through. We’ll see what changes flow through as more data comes in over time.

The Poll Way has not had a good look at the relative values of the Green and ‘Other’ primary votes over time, however a cursory glance suggests that the Green vote is remaining stable and the ‘Other’ vote is declining slightly. This is not unexpected given the Greens supporter base and the rebuilding of Labor’s primary vote – those votes have to come from somewhere. Bob Katter and Clive Palmer might have to hold their horses, or hats, or whatever, for a while longer yet.

Having said all that, the Poll Way Aggregate primary votes are as follows: ALP 38.1%, L/NP 43%, GRN 8.8%, Other 9.2%.