The AFR Fairfax-Ipsos page helpfully reminds us that Kim Beazley gained 50.98% of the vote in the 1998 election but did not win. So with the two-party preferred vote now at 51-49 to the LNP, officially it’s too close to call. Anyway that slight lead is offset by Newspoll which came in at 51-49 to Labor for the fourth time in a row. So a couple of weeks of electioneering appear to have made no difference overall. Yet there are, I think, some important messages to be mined from the polls.
Firstly, the voters in Queensland are grumpy. Fairfax-Ipsos does a state by state breakdown showing the LNP and Labor level in NSW and SA, in Victoria and WA Labor is a bit in front. In Queensland, however, the LNP leads by a whopping 58-42. At that rate probably no seats would change hands, making it difficult for Labor to win nationally.
Labor currently holds 55 seats in the HoR, and needs around 20 to form government. Currently Labor holds 6 out of 30 in Queensland. The marginal seats list shows it needs six more in Queensland. If Fairfax-Ipsos is right it will win none.
The poll has a margin or error of 5.7% for the Qld result, but you’d expect the results to cluster near the middle. Poll Bludger reported on 14 May that federal voting intentions in Qld favoured the LNP 54-46, as against 57-43 at the last election. On that basis only Capricornia and Petrie would go.
I think the basic problem is the economy in Qld which is cactus.
Secondly, the Greens vote, 8.7% at the last election, has consistently been at 14% for Fairfax-Ipsos and 11% in Newspoll. Essential has them at 10% and Roy Morgan at 15.5%. At the very least these polls augur well for their senate voting.
Third, PUP is gone. Newspoll doesn’t ask, but Fairfax-Ipsos has PUP at 1%.
Fourth, there is a trend for Turnbull’s personal standing to sink while Shorten’s improves. On the role performance question, Newspoll has them both on a net -12. Fairfax-Ipsos has Turnbull at +10, but sinking from +23 at the beginning of March. Shorten is at -6 compared to -29 at the beginning of March.
In Fairfax-Ipsos on preferred Prime Minister Turnbull has gone from a lead of 39 over Shorten to 17 over the same period. In Newspoll Turnbull’s lead has shrunk from 34 to 15.
If anything personality is receding as a factor.
Fifth, and last, Fairfax-Ipsos asks voters who they think will win. This is said to be a better predictor than the voting intentions poll. Here the punters backing a LNP win have jumped to 57% compared to 53% in the last poll.
Laura Tingle thinks this could be deadly for Turnbull. If voters are so confident he will win they might feel safe to give him a kick in the shins, leading to an ‘accidental’ election result.
Tingle also says people are not paying attention, seeing the electioneering as nothing more than “annoying background noise”.
Finally, Tingle reports an aspect of the poll that didn’t appear in the paper. Voters would vastly prefer money for schools over tax cuts for business:
They should know who to vote for, then, shouldn’t they?
BTW, Kevin Bonham thinks Labor needs 50.9% of the vote for a 50:50 chance of winning.