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QUEENSLAND ELECTION: Morgan Poll Accurately Predicted ALP Would Win With Reduced Majority

Public opinion polls need to be accurate in measuring:

1. the primary vote for each party contesting an election; and

2. the two-party preferred vote — this determines whether a Government is to be re-elected or not.

In the recent 2006 Queensland State election, all three polls (Morgan, Newspoll and Galaxy) correctly predicted the Beattie ALP Government would win. Galaxy was the most accurate of the three in estimating the primary vote for each party standing. Galaxy’s average error was 0.7% for each of the six “parties” standing (Galaxy included One Nation in ‘Other’, they received 0.6%). The Morgan Poll average error for each of the seven “parties” was 0.9%, while Newspoll’s average error for each of six “parties” was 1.3%. Newspoll included Family First in ‘Other’ (they received 1.9%) and predicted the Greens vote to be 4% (actual 8%).

 

Actual 2004

election result*

Actual 2006

election result**

Sept 6/7, 2006

Morgan Poll

Sept 6/7, 2006

Newspoll

Sept 5-7, 2006

Galaxy

 

%

%

%

% error

%

% error

%

% error

Sample Size

   

604

1,500

1,000

 

 

 

Primary Vote  Predictions

ALP

47

46.9

45

-1.9

48

+1.1

48

+1.1

Total L-NP

35.5

37.9

39

+1.1

38

+0.1

38

+0.1

Liberals

18.5

20.1

19

-1.1

21

+0.9

20

-0.1

National

17

17.8

20

+2.2

17

-0.8

18

+0.2

The Greens

6.8

8.0

8

0

4

-4.0

7

-1.0

Family First

^

1.9

2

+0.1

 

 

1

-0.9

One Nation

4.9

0.6

0.5

-0.1

1

+0.4

 

 

Other

5.8

4.7

5.5

0.8

9

+2.4

6

+0.7

Av. Error

     

0.9

 

1.3

 

0.7

 

 

 

Two Party Preferred Predictions#

ALP

55.5

54.9

53

-1.9

55

+0.1

56.5

+1.6

L-NP

44.5

45.1

47

+1.9

45

-0.1

43.5

-1.6

ALP lead

11

9.8

6

 

10

 

13

 

Avg error

 

 

 

1.9

 

0.1

 

1.6

*Queensland Electoral Commission 12.00pm October 10, 2004
** Queensland Electoral Commission 5.00pm September 22, 2006
# 2004, 2006 actual results are Malcolm Mackerras estimates

A day before the Queensland State election the Morgan Poll accurately predicted the ALP would win with a reduced majority. The L-NP won five more seats than they obtained at the 2004 State election with a two-party preferred vote; ALP 54.9% (down 0.6%) - L-NP 45.1%.

Newspoll was the most accurate on the two-party preferred basis with an error of just 0.1% (ALP 55% - L-NP 45%). The Morgan Poll overestimated the swing to the L-NP by 1.9%, predicting ALP 53% - L-NP 47%, while Galaxy overestimated the ALP vote by 1.6% (ALP 56.5% - L-NP 43.5%).

Roy Morgan telephone polls consistently showed a higher vote for The Greens than Newspoll, and up until the Queensland State election pre-election telephone Morgan Polls have normally overestimated actual Green vote.

There are always many lessons which are learnt from analysing public opinion poll election estimates with the actual election results, and as with much research, more questions raised.

There is little doubt that Queensland Premier Peter Beattie won the recent “War of Spin” — today most Australians would believe his ALP Government was returned with an increased majority because of the way Mr Beattie handled the “gullible” media on election night and in the immediate days following his election victory — the weekend after the tragic deaths of Australian icons Steve Irwin and Peter Brock, both of whom received significant media coverage.

Arthur Calwell told Roy Morgan and others he believed he would have won the December 1963 Federal Election if Kennedy (JFK) had not been shot the Saturday before the election. Also many people maintain the Howard Government would not have won the 2001 Federal election if the electorate had not been confronted with images, later proven to be false, of asylum seekers “throwing their children overboard” just before the election.

We presented a Morgan Poll paper on this issue in 2001 (finding number 3476): “What happened on November 10? Did the 'race card' (border protection) swing the electorate?”

The issue is: Would the Queensland election have resulted in a larger swing to the L-NP if the tragic deaths of Steve Irwin and Peter Brock had not occurred in the week leading up to the election? Both tragedies received more print and TV media coverage than when Kennedy was shot!

 

For further information:
Gary Morgan: Office (03) 9224 5213 Mobile 0411 129 094 Home (03) 9419 3242
Michele Levine: Office (03) 9224 5215 Mobile 0411 129 093 Home (03) 9817 3066

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