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Federal Labor Dips In Primary But Gains In Two-Party Preferred

Published exclusively in The Bulletin, cover date August 14, 2001

The Federal ALP has lost ground on primary support but has extended its lead over the Federal Government on a two-party preferred basis with help from preferences from a resurgent Australian Democrats, The Bulletin-Morgan Poll finds.

Primary support for the ALP fell 1% to 42%, its lowest level for the year, with support for the Federal Coalition up 0.5% to 35.5%. Within the Federal Coalition, Liberal Party support was up 0.5% to 33.5%, with support for the National Party languishing at 2% (unchanged).

Support for the Australian Democrats rose to 9% (up 1.5%) continuing the Party's popular revival under Senator Natasha Stott Despoja. The poll was conducted, however, before revelations that some of her parliamentary colleagues are unhappy with her performance, describing her as disorganised and autocratic.

Among the other minor parties support for The Greens was down 0.5% to 4%, support for Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party was steady at 5%, and support for Other Parties and Independent Candidates was down 0.5% to 4.5%.

On a two-party preferred basis, the Federal Opposition extended its lead to 13%. Support for the ALP was 56.5% (up 1.5%), with L-NP support at 43.5% (down 1.5%). If a Federal election had been held in late July the Federal Opposition would have won easily.

During the period of the poll:

  • The Federal Government announced a Royal Commission into the building industry to look into alleged corruption and criminal behaviour within the industry. The Prime Minister Mr John Howard said the inquiry was necessary so that "& allegations of thuggery and misbehaviour, standover tactics, intimidation and related conduct be properly investigated". Opponents of the inquiry claimed the timing of the inquiry was politically motivated.
  • Reports emerged that a new biography of the Federal Treasurer and Deputy Liberal Party Leader Mr Peter Costello claimed considerable friction between Mr Costello and the Prime Minister. The biography, Peter Costello: The New Liberal (Allen & Unwin, 2001) by Mr Shaun Carney, also claims the Federal Treasurer's supporters believe the Prime Minister to be paranoid of Mr Costello.
  • Defeated Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Ryan, Mr Bob Tucker, lodged an application to the Queensland Supreme Court to delay the Party's preselection for the seat for the next Federal election. The preselection ballot was scheduled for August 3, 2001.
  • The Prime Minister celebrated his birthday with a tour of a Perth chocolate factory. Mr Howard turned 62.

In a special qualitative Bulletin-Morgan Poll where electors were asked why they voted that way, the key theme emerging from ALP supporters, apart from "I always vote that way" or "They are for the workers", was resentment of the GST. This issue has been the dominant theme among ALP supporters since the introduction of the tax.

"The Liberals lied. They said (there would be) no GST and then brought it in", "Labor is probably better for small business and against the GST" and "I'm not happy with John Howard's complicated new tax system" were typical comments from ALP supporters.

Other ALP supporters mentioned health and education policies as reasons they voted that way. "I am dissatisfied with the Government's health and education policy" and "I like the Opposition's policies on education and health" were also typical.

Apart from "I always vote that way" and "I prefer their policies", the key theme emerging from L-NP supporters was that there is little alternative. "None of the others have any policies - better the devil you know than the devil you don't" and I don't trust Labor" were typical examples.

Preferences of all minor parties favoured the Federal Opposition. Preferences of supporters of The Greens (ALP - 80.5% cf L-NP - 19.5%) most strongly favoured the ALP, followed by those of Australian Democrats supporters (ALP - 70% cf L-NP - 30%), Other Parties and Independent Candidates supporters (ALP - 56% cf L-NP - 44%) and Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (ALP - 51% cf L-NP - 49%).

This latest Bulletin-Morgan Poll on Federal Voting Intention was conducted face-to-face on July 21/22 and July 28/29, 2001 with an Australia-wide cross-section of 1,952 electors. Electors were asked: "If a Federal election for the House of Representatives were being held today - which Party would receive your first preference?" Of all electors surveyed 2.5% (unchanged) were undecided on voting intention. 

Who Electors Think Will Win

Electors were asked: "Who do you think will win at the next Federal election?"

Think Will Win Next Federal Election
  May 26/27, 2001 June 2/3, 2001 June 9/10 &
June 16/17, 2001
June 23/24 &
June 30/ July 1, 2001
July 7/8 &
July 14/15, 2001
July 21/22 &
July 28/29, 2001
  % % % % % %
             
L-NP 27 25 25 26.5 28.5 34.5
ALP 63 66 64.5 62.5 57.5 52
Can't say 10 9 10.5 11 14 13.5
             
  100 100 100 100 100 100
The majority of electors (52%) think the ALP will win the next Federal election while 34.5% think the L-NP Coalition will win another term.

FEDERAL VOTING INTENTION SUMMARY - HOUSE OF REPS (%) 

PRIMARY VOTE L-NP ALP Aust.
Dem.
The
Greens
P.Hanson
One Nation
Ind./
Others
Election March 13, 1993 44.3 44.9 3.7 1.6 N/A 5.5
Election March 2, 1996 47.3 (8.6) 38.8 6.8 1.7 N/A 5.4
Election October 3, 19981 39.5 (5.3) 40.1 5.1 2.1 8.5 4.7
MORGAN POLL  
             
June 9/10 & 16/17 34.5(3) 44.5 6.5 5.5 4 5
June 23/24 & June 30/July 1 36 (3.5) 44.5 6.5 4.5 4.5 4
July 7/8 & July 14/15 35 (2) 43 7.5 4.5 5 5
July 21/22 & July 28/29 35.5 (2) 42 9 4 5 4.5
Note: National Party results are in brackets

October 3, 1998 Federal election results have been updated to include results from the electorate of Newcastle supplementary 
election. The L-NP did not have a candidate contesting the electorate of Newcastle.


TWO-PARTY PREFERRED VOTE
  L-NP ALP
Election March 13, 1993 48.6 51.4
Election March 2, 1996 53.6 46.4
Election October 3, 19982 48.9 51.1
MORGAN POLL  
     
June 9/10 & 16/17 43 57
June 23/24 & June 30/July 1 43.5 56.5
July 7/8 & July 14/15 45 55
July 21/22 & July 28/29 43.5 56.5
2 For the October 3, 1998 Federal election the L-NP didn't contest the Newcastle supplementary election. For Newcastle the L-NP "two-Party" estimate includes those who didn't vote ALP or give their preference to the ALP. If the Newcastle two-Party preferred vote for the October 3, 1998 election is excluded the Australia-wide "two-Party" preferred vote is L-NP - 49.0% cf ALP - 51.0%

 

TWO-PARTY PREFERENCES OF MINOR PARTIES
June 9/10 &
June 16/17, 2001
June 23/24 &
June 30/ July 1, 2001
July 7/8 &
July 14/15, 2001
July 21/22 &
July 28/29, 2001
  L-NP ALP L-NP ALP L-NP ALP L-NP ALP
MORGAN POLL  
         
Pauline Hanson One Nation 53.5 46.5 47.5 52.5 58.5 41.5 49 51
Australian Democrats 33.5 66.5 33 67 45 55 30 70
The Greens ** 21 79 28.5 71.5 19 81 19.5 80.5
Independent/Other 44 56 36 64 47 53 44 56
** Results from sample sizes under 50 should be treated with caution.

ample: 1,952
Interviewed: Face-to-face on July 21/22 & July 28/29, 2001.
2.5% (unchanged) undecided


Federal Voting Intention Trend 

PRIMARY VOTE L-NP ALP Aust.
Dem.
The
Greens
P.Hanson
One Nation
Ind./
Others
Election March 13, 1993 44.3 44.9 3.7 1.6 N/A 5.5
Election March 2, 1996 47.3 (8.6) 38.8 6.8 1.7 N/A 5.4
Election October 3, 19981 39.5 (5.3) 40.1 5.1 2.1 8.5 4.7
MORGAN POLLS  
 
1998  
October 10/11 & 17/18 40.5 (5) 41 9 2.5 5.5 1.5
October 24/25 & Oct.31/Nov 1 38 (4) 43.5 7.5 2.5 6 2.5
November 7/8 & 14/15 41 (4) 42.5 6.5 2.5 5 2.5
November 21/22 & 28/29 38 (4) 44.5 7 2 5.5 3
December 5/6 & 12/13 41 (4.5) 41.5 6.5 3.5 6 1.5
December 5/6 & 12/13 41 (4.5) 41.5 6.5 3.5 6 1.5
             
1999  
January 9/10 & 16/17 39.5 (4.5) 43.5 7.5 2 5 2.5
January 23/24 & 30/31 40 (4.5) 43.5 6 2.5 5.5 2.5
February 6/7 & 13/14 42 (4) 42 7.5 3 3 2.5
February 20/21 & 27/28 42 (4.5) 41 7 3 4.5 2.5
March 6/7 & 13/14 37.5 (5) 43.5 6.5 3.5 5 4
March 20/21 & 27/28 39.5 (4.5) 43.5 7.5 2 4.5 3
April 3/ 4 & 10/11 38 (4.5) 43 7.5 3 6 2.5
April 17/18 & 24/25 38 (4.5) 45 5.5 3 5.5 3
May 1/ 2 & 8/9 37.5 (4) 45.5 7 2.5 5 2.5
May 15/16 & 22/23 37.5 (4) 43.5 7.5 3.5 4.5 3.5
May 29/30 & June 5/6 40 (4.5) 42 7 3.5 4.5 3
June 12/13 & 19/20 38.5 (3.5) 44.5 6.5 3 4.5 3
June 26/27 & July 3/4 40.5 (6.5) 43 6.5 4.5 3.5 2
July 10/11 & 17/18 41 (4.5) 41 6.5 4 5 2.5
July 24/25 & July 31/Aug 1 40 (4) 43 7 3 4.5 2.5
August 7/8 & 14/15 42 (4.5) 40.5 7.5 3.5 4 2.5
August 21/22 & 28/29 40 (4) 44.5 6.5 2.5 4 2.5
September 4/5 & 11/12 40 (4) 41 7 2.5 4 5.5
September 18/19 & 25/26 39.5 (3.5) 41 6.5 4 4.5 4.5
October 2/3 & 9/10 39.5 (3.5) 41.5 7.5 3 4 4.5
October 16/17 & 23/24 40 (3) 42 5 3.5 3.5 6
October 30/31 & Nov 6/7 40.5 (3.5) 42 6.5 2.5 3.5 5
November 13/14 & 20/21 39.5 (3.5) 42.5 6.5 2.5 4.5 4.5
Nov 27/28 & December 4/5 41.5 (3) 44 5.5 2.5 3 3.5
December 11/12 & 18/19 37.5 (3.5) 44.5 6 4 4 4
             
2000  
January 8/9 & 15/16, 2000 38 (4) 46 5.5 3 3.5 4
January 22/23 & 29/30 37.5 (4) 47 5.5 3 3.5 3.5
February 5/6 & 12/13 36 (3.5) 46 5.5 3.5 3.5 5.5
February 19/20 36.5 (3.5) 46.5 5 3 3.5 5.5
February 26/27 38 (5) 45 5 3.5 3 5.5
March 4/5 & 11/12 37 (4.5) 46 5.5 3.5 2.5 5.5
March 18/19 & 25/26 37.5 (3.5) 43 5.5 3.5 4 6.5
April 1/ 2 & 8/9 36 (3) 46 6.5 3.5 3 5
April 15/16 & 22/23 36.5 (3.5) 45 5 3.5 4.5 5.5
April 29/30 & May 6/7 35 (3.5) 46 6 3.5 4.5 5
May 13/14 & 20/21 35 (3) 45.5 5.5 4 4.5 5.5
May 27/28 & June 3/ 4 34.5 (3) 46.5 5.5 4 4 5.5
June 10/11 & June 17/18 33.5 (3.5) 48.5 5.5 3 4.5 5
June 24/25 & July 1/2 33 (3.5) 45 6 4 4.5 7.5
July 8/9 36.5 (3) 45 5.5 3.5 3.5 6
July 15/16 40 (4.5) 43 4.5 4.5 3 5
July 22/23 & July 29/30 37.5 (4.5) 45 5.5 3 3.5 5.5
August 5/6 & 12/13 41.5 (3.5) 41.5 5 3.5 3.5 5
August 19/20 & 26/27 37 (3) 43 6 3.5 5 5.5
September 2/3 & 9/10 36.5 (3.5) 46.5 4 3.5 3.5 6
September 16/17 & 23/24 38.5 (3.5) 44 6.5 3.5 3 4.5
Sept 30/Oct 1 & October 7/8 37 (3.5) 46.5 5 2 3 6.5
October 14/15 & 21/22 36 (3.5) 44.5 6 3 3 7.5
October 28/29 & November 4/5 35 (3) 45.5 5.5 4.5 4 5.5
November 11/12 & 18/19 37 (3.5) 44.5 6.5 3.5 3 5.5
November 25/26 & December 2/3 38 (3) 44 6.5 3.5 3.5 4.5
December 9/10 & 16/17 37.5 (3) 45 4.5 3 3.5 6.5
             
2001  
January 6/7 & 13/14 36 (3.5) 47.5 5.5 3.5 3 4.5
January 20/21 & 27/28 39.5 (3.5) 42.5 5.5 5 3 4.5
February 3/4 & 10/11 35.5(4) 43.5 6 3.5 5.5 6
February 17/18 & 24/25 30(3) 48.5 5 4.5 7.5 4.5
March 3/4 & 10/11 29.5 (3) 46.5 5.5 4.5 7 7
March 17/18 & 24/25 32 (2.5) 47.5 5 3.5 7.5 4.5
March 31/April 1 & April 7/8 31 (3) 44.5 6.5 5 7 6
April 14/15 & 21/22 32 (2.5) 44.5 10 4 5.5 4
April 28/29 & May 5/6 31.5 (3) 43.5 9 4.5 6 5.5
May 12/13 & 19/20 30.5(3) 46.5 8 4.5 5.5 5
May 26/27 33(2.5) 44 8.5 4.5 3.5 6.5
June 2/3 30.5(2.5) 45.5 8 4 6 6
June 9/10 & 16/17 34.5(3) 44.5 6.5 5.5 4 5
June 23/24 & June 30/July 1 36 (3.5) 44.5 6.5 4.5 4.5 4
July 7/8 & July 14/15 35 (2) 43 7.5 4.5 5 5
July 21/22 & July 28/29 35.5 (2) 42 9 4 5 4.5
Note: National Party results are in brackets

October 3, 1998 Federal election results have been updated to include results from the electorate of Newcastle supplementary
election. The L-NP did not have a candidate contesting the electorate of Newcastle.


TWO-PARTY PREFERRED VOTE
  L-NP ALP
Election March 13, 1993 48.6 51.4
Election March 2, 1996 53.6 46.4
Election October 3, 19982 48.9 51.1
MORGAN POLL  
 
1998  
October 10/11 & 17/18 49 51
October 24/25 & Oct. 31/Nov. 1 45.5 54.5
November 7/8 & 14/15 47.5 52.5
November 21/22 & 28/29 45 55
December 5/6 & 12/13 48 52
     
1999  
January 9/10 & 16/17 46 54
January 23/24 & 30/31 46.5 53.5
February 6/7 & 13/14 48 52
February 20/21 & 27/28 49 51
March 6/7 & 13/14 44.5 55.5
March 20/21 & 27/28 46 54
April 3/4 & 10/11 45 55
April 17/18 & 24/25 45 55
May 1/2 & 8/9 43.5 56.5
May 15/16 & 22/23 46 54
May 29/30 & June 5/6 48 52
June 12/13 & 19/20 45.5 54.5
June 26/27 & July 3/4 46.5 53.5
July 10/11 & 17/18 48.5 51.5
July 24/25 & July 31/August 1 46.5 53.5
August 7/8 & 14/15 49.5 50.5
August 21/22 & 28/29 45.5 54.5
September 4/5 & 11/12 48.5 51.5
September 18/19 & 25/26 47.5 52.5
October 2/3 & 9/10 48.5 51.5
October 16/17 & 23/24 47 53
October 30/31 & Nov 6/7 49 51
November 13/14 & 20/21 46.5 53.5
Nov 27/28 & December 4/5 47.5 52.5
December 11/12 & 18/19 44.5 55.5
     
2000  
January 8/9 & 15/16, 2000 44 56
January 22/23 & 29/30 43.5 56.5
February 5/6 & 12/13 42.5 57.5
February 19/20 43.5 56.5
February 26/27 45 55
March 4/5 & 11/12 43.5 56.5
March 18/19 & 25/26 45.5 54.5
April 1/2 & 8/9 43 57
April 15/16 & 22/23 43.5 56.5
April 29/30 & May 6/7 42.5 57.5
May 13/14 & 20/21 42.5 57.5
May 27/28 & June 3/ 4 41.5 58.5
June 10/11 & June 17/18 40 60
June 24/25 & July 1/2 41.5 58.5
July 8/9 44.5 55.5
July 15/16 46 54
July 22/23 & July 29/30 44.5 55.5
August 5/6 & August 12/13 48 52
August 19/20 & 26/27 45 55
September 2/3 & 9/10 43.5 56.5
September 16/17 & 23/24 44 56
Sept 30/Oct 1 & October 7/8 43.5 56.5
October 14/15 & 21/22 43 57
October 28/29 & November 4/5 42.5 57.5
November 11/12 & 18/19 44.5 55.5
November 25/26 & December 2/3 45 55
December 9/10 & December 16/17 44 56
     
2001  
January 6/7 & 13/14 42.5 57.5
January 20/21 & 27/28 46 54
February 3/4 & 10/11 43 57
February 17/18 & 24/25 37 63
March 3/4 & 10/11 38.5 61.5
March 17/18 & 24/25 40 60
March 31/April 1 & April 7/8 40.5 59.5
April 14/15 & 21/22 40.5 59.5
April 28/29 & May 5/6 40.5 59.5
May 12/13 & 19/20 39 61
May 26/27 43 57
June 2/3 40 60
June 9/10 & 16/17 43 57
June 23/24 & June 30/July 1 43.5 56.5
July 7/8 & July 14/15 45 55
July 21/22 & 28/29 43.5 56.5
2 For the October 3, 1998 Federal election the L-NP didn't contest the Newcastle supplementary election. For Newcastle the L-NP "two-Party" estimate includes those who didn't vote ALP or give their preference to the ALP. If the Newcastle two-Party preferred vote for the October 3, 1998 election is excluded the Australia-wide "two-Party" preferred vote is L-NP - 49.0% cf ALP - 51.0%.

Finding No. 3430 is taken from Computer Report No. 1751

The Morgan Poll is conducted by the 
ONLY Australian or New Zealand member of the Gallup International Association.
No other public opinion poll taken in Australia or New Zealand 
has this qualification.