Roy Morgan Research
September 30, 2021

ALP (54%) increases lead over the L-NP (46%) after ‘AUKUS’ submarine deal is announced in mid-September

Topic: Federal Poll
Finding No: 8808

ALP support has increased to 54% (up 1.5% points since mid-September) cf. L-NP on 46% (down 1.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis according to the latest Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention conducted over the last two weekends.
The 1.5% points swing to the ALP came despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing a new defence agreement known as ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-United Kingdom-United States) in a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in mid-September. As part of the AUKUS agreement Australia will purchase of nuclear-powered submarines and break a deal with France to purchase diesel-powered submarines.
If a Federal Election were held now the ALP would be elected with a similar margin to that won by John Howard at the 1996 Federal Election (L-NP 53.6% cf. ALP 46.4%).
Interviewing for the latest Roy Morgan Poll was conducted over the weekends of September 18/19 & 25/26, 2021 with a nationally representative cross-section of 2,752 Australian electors using a combination of telephone and online interviews (multi-mode).
Primary Voting Intention has the ALP and L-NP tied on 36%
Primary support for the ALP increased 1% point to 36% in late September and has drawn level with the L-NP, down 3.5% points to 36%. Greens support has dropped 0.5% points to 12.5%.
Support for One Nation was up 0.5% points to 3.5% while support for Independents/Others was up by 1.5% points to 12%.
Voting Intention by State shows ALP leading in Victoria, NSW, WA, SA & Tasmania
Voting analysis by State shows the ALP leading on a two-party preferred basis in five States including Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. In contrast, the LNP leads only in Queensland.
The ALP leads in Victoria on 56% (down 1% point since mid-September) compared to the L-NP on 44% (up 1% point) on a two-party preferred basis. Despite the L-NP’s improvement over the last few weeks this result represents a swing of 2.9% points to the ALP in Victoria since the 2019 Federal Election.
The improvement in the Liberal Party’s fortunes in Victoria follows the return to the leadership of Matthew Guy in early September after losing the leadership after the last Victorian State Election in 2018.
Despite the ALP improving their lead overall, ALP support in NSW in the last two weeks has softened – ALP support is now 53.5% (down 0.5% points since mid-September) cf. L-NP on 46.5% (up 0.5% points) although this is still a swing of 5.3% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
The L-NP Government in NSW has outlined a detailed re-opening plan over the last few weeks with the three month long lockdown of Greater Sydney now set to lift by mid-October. The number of new cases of COVID-19 has also dropped in recent weeks to now be below the daily number in Victoria.
The LNP has its strongest result in Queensland, although the ALP has closed the gap in the last two weeks. The LNP on 52.5% (down 1.5% points since mid-September) cf. ALP 47.5% (up 1.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. Despite the LNP’s lead this represents a large swing of 5.9% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.

The ALP has regained the initiative in WA with the ALP on 54.5% (up 7.5% points since mid-September now well ahead of the L-NP on 45.5% (down 7.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. This result reprensents a massive swing of 10.1% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
The last few weeks have been good ones for WA Premier Mark McGowan with the State hosting key AFL Finals, including the AFL Grand Final on the weekend between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs for the first time in front of a record crowd of over 60,000.
The ALP 58.5% (up 7% points since mid-September) holds its largest two-party preferred lead in SA ahead of the L-NP 41.5% (down 7% points). This represents a swing of 7.8% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election. The ALP leads narrowly in Tasmania with the ALP 52% cf. L-NP 48% - a swing of 4% points to the L-NP since the 2019 Federal Election.
Roy Morgan Government Confidence increases again by 1.5pts to 96
The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has increased 1.5pts to 96 in late September. An unchanged 40% of Australians say the country is ‘heading in the right direction’, while 44%, down 1.5% points, say the country is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.
However, there is a wide divergence of nearly 30pts between different States with Government Confidence well below 100 in Victoria and the tourism-dependent Tasmania, just below the neutral level of 100 in NSW and South Australia and at a high level in Queensland and Western Australia.
Government Confidence is lowest in Victoria at only 82 in late September with the State now recording the highest daily count of COVID-19 cases than at any time during the pandemic. Government Confidence is only a fraction higher in tourism-dependent Tasmania at 82.5.
Government Confidence has continued to recover over the last two weeks in New South Wales as the State moves towards re-opening in October although is still in negative territory at 96. Government Confidence in South Australia has declined over the last two weeks and is now at 91.5.
In contrast, Government Confidence is flying high in both Western Australia and Queensland. Western Australia has not been in lockdown for almost three months and hosted the AFL Grand Final for the first time over the weekend and how has Government Confidence of 111.5.
There is a similarly positive mood in Queensland which is due to host the NRL Grand Final for the first time this weekend – although the venus is still subject to change due to the latest outbreak of COVID-19. Government Confidence in Queensland is now at a high level of 109.5, just behind WA.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan says the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the new defence agreement known as ‘AUKUS’ announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison with US President Joe Biden has failed to impress Australian voters:

“Today’s Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention shows the new ‘AUKUS’ defence agreement announced in mid-September has failed to improve the L-NP Government’s electoral prospects in the slightest with the ALP 54% (up 2% points since mid-September) increasing its two-party preferred lead over the L-NP 46% (down 2% points).

“The ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-United Kingdom-United States) defence agreement was announced in a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson two weeks ago on September 15 and was headlined by Australia’s commitment to purchase nuclear-powered submarines from the US or UK. As a result of the new agreement Australia terminated the existing agreement with France to purchase new diesel-powered submarines.

“Unsurprisingly this has not gone down well with France which recalled its ambassador to Australia over the change in policy. The French have also indicated that the potential EU-Australia Free Trade Deal currently being negotiated will be unlikely to be completed anytime soon. It is worth remembering the French President Emmanuel Macron faces a Presidential Election early in 2022 around the same time Australians are set to go to the polls at the next Federal Election.

“Although the new AUKUS defence agreement grabbed a lot of headlines it is still the situation with COVID-19 in Australia that is driving political sentiment. This is evident when looking at Government Confidence around the various States. Government Confidence is well above 100 in the non-lockdown States of Western Australia (111.5) and Queensland (109.5) while nearly 30pts lower in the most locked down State of Victoria (82).

“Government Confidence in NSW is now at 96, significantly higher than Victoria, and this is likely due to the faster re-opening plan for the State when compared to their southern neighbours. NSW is certain to re-open in the next two weeks while Victoria is set to remain in lockdown for at least another month until late October or even early November.

“The ongoing lockdowns are continuing to hand the advantage to the ALP which leads comfortably on a two-party preferred basis in Victoria: ALP 56% cf. L-NP 44% and also leads by a clear margin in NSW: ALP 53.5% cf. L-NP 46.5%. The ALP also leads on a two-party preferred basis in WA, SA and Tasmania while the LNP leads only in Queensland – traditionally its strongest State.”

Electors were asked: “If an election for the House of Representatives were held today – which party will receive your first preference? and “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in Australia are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”
This Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention and Roy Morgan Government Confidence was conducted via telephone and online interviewing last weekend. Roy Morgan interviewed 2,752 Australian electors aged 18+ on the weekends of September 18/19 & 25/26, 2021. A higher than usual 8% of electors (unchanged from mid-September) can’t say who they support.

For further information:

Gary Morgan:+61 3 9224 5213+61 411 129 094
Michele Levine:+61 3 9224 5215+61 411 129 093

Australian Federal Voting Intention: Two-Party Preferred (2019-2021)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source. Average interviews per fortnight n=2,000. May 2019–Sept. 2021. Base: Australian electors 18+.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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