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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

Telereach conducted nine polls in federal seats from March 17-19 for the News Ltd tabloids. All seats had a sample of about 800 according to Kos Samaras. The seats polled were Coalition-held Bass (Tas), Boothby (SA), Chisholm (Vic), Flynn (Qld), Reid (NSW), Swan (WA) and Longman (Qld), and Labor-held Dunkley (Vic) and Gilmore (NSW).

Only primary votes are displayed on the poll graphic. In the discussion below, I am using my judgment as to which parties would win seats based on the primary votes; the verdicts in the graphic have too many “too close to call” seats.

In Bass, the Liberals held a 45-33 lead over Labor with 7% for the Greens and 10% One Nation, and would easily retain. In Boothby, the Liberals led by 38-36 with 12% for the Greens and 4% UAP; Labor would gain from Greens preferences.

In Chisholm, the Liberals led Labor by 45-33 with 7% Greens, 5% One Nation and 4% UAP, and would easily retain. In Dunkley, Labor led by 47-29 with 9% One Nation and 7% Greens, and would easily retain. In Flynn, the LNP led by 42-27 with 10% One Nation and 8% UAP, and would easily retain.

In Gilmore, Labor led by 38-36 with 10% Greens, 8% One Nation and 4% UAP, and would retain. In Reid, Labor led by 39-33 with 13% One Nation, 10% Greens and 4% UAP, and would gain. In Swan, Labor led by 37-31 with 12% Greens, 11% One Nation and 8% UAP, and would gain. In Longman, the LNP led by 37-29 with 13% One Nation, 9% UAP and 6% Greens, and would retain.

The poll graphics also show satisfaction ratings in each seat for Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese, preferred PM and good/poor ratings for government performance over the last three years.

These polls were conducted by robopolling, and the high votes for One Nation and UAP in some seats may be inflated by this method. Australia’s current national regular polls are all conducted using online methods, not robopolling.

At the 2021 Canadian election, the right-wing populist People’s Party (PPC) won 4.9% of the national vote, compared with 7.0% in the CBC Poll Tracker. Robopolls (IVR in the linked poll table) were most prone to overstate the PPC – the three final robopolls gave the PPC one estimate of 9% and two of 10%.

If these polls are correct, Labor would gain three of the seven Coalition seats polled and hold its own two seats. The disappointing results for Labor in Bass and the two Queensland seats may be due to the education divide that I covered last May.

Read more:
Non-university educated white people are deserting left-leaning parties. How can they get them back?

The most surprising result was the strong Liberal vote in the inner Melbourne seat of Chisholm. In past elections, seat polls have been unreliable.

National Morgan poll: 58-42 to Labor

A Morgan poll, conducted March 14-20 from a sample of 1,419, gave Labor a 58-42 lead, a two-point gain for Labor since the March 3-13 poll. Primary votes were 37.5% Labor (up 0.5), 31% Coalition (down 2.5), 12% Greens (up 0.5), 3% One Nation (steady), 1% UAP (steady), 10.5% independents (steady) and 5% others (up 1.5).

Essential “2PP+”: Labor holds 48-44 lead

An Essential poll, conducted March 16-20 from a sample of 1,091, gave Labor a 48-44 lead on Essential’s “2PP+” measure that includes undecided (49-44 last fortnight). Primary votes were 37% Coalition (up one), 37% Labor (up two), 9% Greens (down one), 3% One Nation (steady), 2% UAP (down one), 4% all Others (steady) and 7% undecided (steady).

Essential has been far better for the Coalition than either Newspoll or Morgan. They are also far lower on the all Others vote than other regular polls, who are at 15.5% in Morgan and 10% in last week’s Newspoll.

48% disapproved of Morrison’s performance (down one since February), and 45% approved (up one), for a net approval of -3. Albanese’s net approval improved four points to +7. Morrison led Albanese as better PM by 39-36 (40-35 in February).

51% thought the federal government’s response to the recent Queensland and NSW floods was poor while 26% thought it good.

Unemployment rate fell to 4.0% in February

The ABS reported on March 17 that Australia’s February unemployment rate dropped 0.2% from January to 4.0%. The underemployment rate was also down 0.1% to 6.6%. The employment population ratio – the percentage of eligible Australians employed – increased 0.3% to 63.8%, and is at its peak for at least the last ten years.

The ABC said the last time the unemployment rate was this low was in August 2008, shortly before the global financial crisis began. It has not been lower since 1978.

While the jobs situation is good for the federal government heading into an election, other economic indicators like inflation are poor. I previously reported that inflation-adjusted wages fell 1.2% in the full year 2021.

SA late counting: Labor likely to win fifth upper house seat

With 64% of the upper house vote counted for last Saturday’s South Australian election, Labor has 4.52 quotas (up from 4.45 after election night). The Liberals have 4.11, the Greens 1.11, One Nation 0.48, the Liberal Democrats 0.39, Family First 0.37, Legalise Cannabis 0.24 and Animal Justice 0.17.

Read more:
Labor easily wins South Australian election, but upper house could be a poor result

The concern for Labor after election night was that their vote could fall in late counting, and they would have to rely on preferences from other left-wing parties to pass the Lib Dems or Family First. But Labor is now likely to win five of the 11 seats up at this election, with four Liberals, one Green and one One Nation.

Labor (nine) and the Greens (two) are thus likely to hold a combined 11 of the 22 total upper house seats, with eight Liberals, two SA-Best and one One Nation.

In the lower house, the ABC has called 26 of the 47 seats for Labor, 13 Liberals and four independents with four seats in doubt. Of the doubtful seats, Labor is likely to win Waite and the Liberals Dunstan and Morialto. Finniss could be won by an independent, but the independent must pass Labor first to overtake the Liberals.

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. Mixed results for Labor in nine federal seat polls, but a national Morgan poll gives Labor a massive lead –