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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Adrian Beaumont, Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

AAP/Mick Tsikas

This week’s Newspoll, conducted March 9-12 from a sample of 1,520, gave Labor a 55-45 lead, unchanged since last fortnight. Primary votes were 41% Labor (steady), 35% Coalition (steady), 8% Greens (down one), 3% One Nation (steady), 3% Clive Palmer’s UAP (down one) and 10% for all Others (up two).

55% were dissatisfied with Scott Morrison’s performance (steady), and 41% were satisfied (down two), for a net approval of -14, down two points. Anthony Albanese’s net approval improved one point to +2.

The biggest news was the shift on the incumbent-skewed better PM measure, from a 42-40 Morrison lead last fortnight to a 42-42 tie now. This is the first time Morrison has not led as better PM since the 2019-20 summer bushfires. Newspoll figures are from The Poll Bludger.

There is a large difference between the three most recent polls in the vote for all Others. Newspoll has all Others at 10%, but Essential last week gave them only 4%, while Morgan had them at 12.5%.

The recent flood crisis has not damaged the Coalition’s vote in the way the bushfires did, but they were already in a dreadful polling position. If Newspoll is right, the Coalition’s final chance to make up ground before the election campaign for an expected May election will be the March 29 federal budget.

Read more:
Anthony Albanese now level with Scott Morrison as ‘better PM’: Newspoll

Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion has had little impact on Australian polls. The conflict is a long way from Australia, and we can’t do much to affect it. Last week’s Essential poll had a 24-24 tie between the major parties on who voters thought best to handle this conflict.

I wrote about Putin’s invasion twice for The Poll Bludger, on March 3 and last Friday. The earlier article said invading other countries has not been uncommon historically, while the later one said Ukraine could face a terrible fate with massive atrocities if conquered.

The articles also covered polling reaction in the US and France, where there are April elections. In a US poll at the beginning of the invasion, 62% thought Putin would not have invaded had Donald Trump still been president.

Essential: Labor leads by 49-44, but primary vote down

In Essential’s “2PP+” measure, which includes undecided voters, Labor last week led the Coalition by 49-44 (49-45 three weeks ago). Primary votes were 36% Coalition (up one), 35% Labor (down three), 10% Greens (up one), 3% One Nation (down two), 3% UAP (steady), 4% all Others (steady) and 7% undecided (up one).

Labor did better on preference flows than previously. This poll was conducted March 2-6 from a sample of 1,020.

39% gave the federal government a good rating for its response to COVID, and 35% a poor rating (40-34 in early February). After dropping from a 78% good rating in mid-December to 64% in February, WA recovered to a 71% good rating.

32% (down two since November) thought the federal government deserved to be re-elected, while 48% (up three) thought it was time to give someone else a go. The Coalition and Labor were tied at 24% each on preferred party to handle the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

Two Morgan polls both gave Labor a 56.5-43.5 lead

Morgan conducted two polls to ascertain the effect of the Ukraine invasion. The first poll was done before the invasion began, and gave Labor a 56.5-43.5 lead, a 0.5-point gain for the Coalition since the early February Morgan poll.

The second poll was conducted February 24 to March 6 from a sample of over 1,900. Labor led by 56.5-43.5, unchanged on the pre-invasion poll. Primary votes were 37.5% Labor (steady), 34% Coalition (up 1.5), 11.5% Greens (down one), 3.5% One Nation (steady), 1% UAP (down 0.5), 9% independents (up 0.5) and 3.5% others (down 0.5).

Queensland federal YouGov poll

Last fortnight, I reported a Queensland state YouGov poll had Labor leading 52-48. In the federal poll, both Morrison and Albanese were at net -6 approval in Queensland. A Morrison Coalition government was thought better for Queensland by 43-39 over an Albanese Labor government.

This poll was conducted February 18-23 from a sample of 1,021 for The Courier Mail. Figures from The Poll Bludger.

Additional questions from last Newspoll, and GDP report

In additional questions from last fortnight’s Newspoll, voters favoured Morrison and the Coalition by 33-26 over Albanese and Labor on handling the threat of China (31-26 in late January). The Coalition was favoured by 30-24 on Russia. By 74-18, voters thought China posed a national security threat, while for Russia it was 64-27. Figures from The Poll Bludger.

The ABS reported on March 2 that Australia’s GDP increased 3.4% in the December quarter, rebounding from a 1.9% contraction in the September quarter that was caused by COVID lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne. For the full year 2021, GDP increased 4.2%.

SA election on Saturday

The South Australian state election will occur Saturday. I have not seen any statewide polls since last fortnight’s SA state Newspoll that gave Labor a 53-47 lead.

Read more:
Labor maintains big federal Newspoll lead and is likely to win in South Australia

The only additional publicly released polling I am aware of are two small-sample seat polls for the Shoppies union by Labor pollster Utting Research (400 per seat surveyed).

The Poll Bludger reported last Tuesday that one showed Liberal Premier Steven Marshall trailing 51-49 in Dunstan, a swing of 9% to Labor. The other in Colton had the Liberals ahead by 55-45, a swing of 1% to Labor.

Only votes cast on election day can be counted on the night in SA. These votes will likely be a low proportion of the overall turnout. It won’t be possible to call the result on election night unless it is very decisive.

Tasmanian EMRS poll: Liberals slump

A Tasmanian state EMRS poll, conducted February 28 to March 1 from a sample of 1,000, gave the Liberals 41% (down eight since December), Labor 31% (up five), the Greens 12% (down one) and all Others 16% (up four). Liberal incumbent Peter Gutwein led Labor’s Rebecca White as preferred premier by 52-33 (59-28 in December).

The Conversation

Adrian Beaumont does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Albanese level with Morrison as better PM in Newspoll as Labor maintains big lead –