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Scott Morrison wins surprise Federal Election

By Gary Morgan, Michele Levine and Julian McCrann. Saturday’s Federal Election results shows the L-NP Government will likely be returned with a small majority. Analysis of the polls show all polls significantly underestimated the L-NP primary vote. The Roy Morgan Poll a week before the Federal Election had L-NP support at 38.5% – 2.9% lower than their actual vote of 41.4%.

By Gary Morgan, Michele Levine and Julian McCrann


Saturday’s Federal Election results shows the L-NP Government will likely be returned with a small majority. 

Analysis of the polls show all polls significantly underestimated the L-NP primary vote. The Roy Morgan Poll a week before the Federal Election had L-NP support at 38.5% – 2.9% lower than their actual vote of 41.4%. 

Two days before the Federal Election Roy Morgan found a large majority of Australians, 66% of voters, expected ALP to be elected.

This ‘66%  figure’ showing overall belief in the ALP winning should have concerned the ALP. After years of polling we know:-

  • When a large majority believe a party ‘will win’ an election the ‘final vote’ for that party is invariably much lower – as happened on Saturday –  the Trump Factor!

Roy Morgan throughout the election campaign period showed from survey data:-

  • The Federal Election would be close – even a ‘Hung Parliament’ was possible,

  • ‘Day-to-day’ living costs was easily the most important issue NOT ‘Climate Change’,

  • Acceptance of the key issues came down to ‘trust’, and crucially ‘distrust’,

  • The issues were complicated and in many cases not fully understood,

  • History shows between elections (3 years) the Opposition is often preferred to the Government of the day (not unique to this election),

  • The affluent Green voters had a very real challenge – the environment vs. their ‘hip pocket’ – increased taxes! The Greens vote was 10%, virtually the same vote as 9.8% obtained at the 2016 Federal Election, and

  • ‘It's not over yet’ (unlosable elections).

Michele Levine made the following point clearly when Roy Morgan’s last poll based on interviewing a week before the election showed the L-NP vote down 3.6% on the previous Federal Election (L-NP vote 42.1%).

“In calculating two-party preferred support the Roy Morgan Poll uses respondent’s stated preferences. While Greens supporters are strongly preferencing the ALP, other parties stated preferences are dividing fairly evenly between the ALP and L-NP and as many as one-in-four electors still haven’t made their mind up.

“However, most Australians believe the ALP will win the election with many polls for months showing the ALP well ahead of the Government. But will all the polls be proven wrong again like with the US Presidential Election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016? Most people believed Clinton would win and this belief was reflected by most of the American polls at the time."


There will be many views and reasons posed for why Saturday’s election result was a victory for the Morrison led L-NP.

The question still to be answered is whether:-

  • all polls were wrong in underestimating the L-NP (38.5% vs. 41.1%) vote during the whole election campaign (the Trump Factor), or

  • did electors change their minds in the last week – after the death of former ALP Prime Minister Bob Hawke (much loved) and Shorten who on the last day raised the ‘ghost’ of Gough Whitlam ignoring electors concerns of bad economic news resulting in a fall in the $AUD and the escalation of the US/China ‘trade war’.  

Morrison never changed his message that a Coalition Government would ‘Cut taxes’ while Labor would ‘Increase tax’ on Incomes, Capital gains and ‘Super’, eliminate Franking credits and cut Negative gearing. The revenue raised would then be used to increase wages and massive Government spending on Health, Education and other areas including ‘Climate Change’.

Morrison refused be drawn into the debate on ‘Climate Change’ like Fraser in 1975 refused to be drawn into the debate on the ‘Dismissal’ – both issues having no relevance to ‘day-to-day’ living costs which easily concerned the electorate the most – as it did in 1975.

While preferences from One Nation (vote 3%) and Palmer’s United Australian Party (vote 3.4%) enabled the Coalition to win sufficient seats to retain Government the ALP vote was at a low 33.9% - down 1.1% on the last Federal Election.

This election provided a clear choice - the two major parties represented two very different options. And while for many Australians neither option was perfect - we believe the ‘progressive’ ALP policies – ‘socially progressive’ and ‘economically progressive’ - were a step too far. 

Roy Morgan trend data shows while Australians are increasingly open minded about marriage equality and progressive ideas, Australians are tiring of ‘new ideas’ and are becoming increasingly worried that the fundamental values of our society are under threat – a trend highlighted in our pre-election State of the Nation Report – Election 2019 a ‘photo finish’.


For further information:

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Gary Morgan:

+61 3 9224 5213

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:

+61 3 9224 5215

+61 411 129 093