Roy Morgan Research
September 14, 2021

L-NP (47.5%) gains ground on the ALP (52.5%) after PM Morrison calls on States to stick to re-opening plans

Topic: Federal Poll
Finding No: 8802

ALP support has dropped to 52.5% (down 2% points since late August) cf. L-NP on 47.5% (up 2% points) on a two-party preferred basis. This was the first increase in support for the L-NP since mid-June, before the current Sydney lockdown began according to the latest Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention.

The 2% points swing to the L-NP over the first two weeks of September is the largest this year and comes after PM Scott Morrison and other members of the Federal Government called on States to stick to the re-opening plan agreed in National Cabinet.

If a Federal Election were held now the ALP would be elected with a similar margin to that won by Kevin Rudd at the 2007 Federal Election (ALP 52.7% cf. L-NP 47.3%).

Interviewing for the latest Roy Morgan Poll was conducted over the weekends of September 4/5 & 11/12, 2021 with a nationally representative cross-section of 2,753 Australian electors using a combination of telephone and online interviews (multi-mode).

Primary Voting Intention has the L-NP on 38.5% now ahead of the ALP on 35%
Primary support for the L-NP was up 1% point to 39.5% in mid-September and is now ahead of the ALP on 35%, down 3.5% points. However, there was an increase in support for the Greens, up 1.5% points to 13%.
Support for One Nation was unchanged at 3% while support for Independents/Others was up by 1% point to 10.5%.

Voting Intention by State shows ALP leading in Victoria, NSW, SA & Tasmania
Voting analysis by State shows the ALP leading on a two-party preferred basis in Victoria and NSW, although the L-NP has regained the lead in Western Australia. The ALP also holds leads in South Australia and Tasmania while the LNP leads in Queensland.

The ALP leads in Victoria on 57% (down 2.5% points since late August) compared to the L-NP on 43% (up 2.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. Despite the L-NP’s improvement over the last few weeks this result represents a swing of 3.9% points to the ALP in Victoria since the 2019 Federal Election.

The Liberal Party’s struggles in Victoria were on display last week as the State Liberal Party dumped former leader Michael O’Brien and returned to the leadership of Matthew Guy who led the party to a record defeat at the last Victorian State Election in 2018.

Despite a drop overall the ALP has increased its two-party preferred lead in NSW with the ALP on 54% (up 1% point since late August) cf. L-NP on 46% (down 1% point) which represents a substantial swing of 5.8% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.

The last two weeks have seen record numbers of cases of COVID-19 in NSW with well over 1,000 cases reported every day throughout early September which has damaged the standing of both the Federal and State Governments. The longer the current two-month lockdown in NSW continues the higher the ALP’s two-party preferred vote goes.
The L-NP has its strongest result in Queensland with the LNP on 54% (up 0.5% points since late August) cf. ALP 46% (down 0.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. However, despite the LNP’s lead this represents a swing of 4.4% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.

There is good news for the L-NP out west with the L-NP regaining the lead in WA with the L-NP on 53% (up 4% points since late August) cf. ALP on 47% (down 4% points). Despite the L-NP’s lead this result represents a large swing of 2.6% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.

The announcement by WA Premier Mark McGowan that the State may keep its borders closed until as late as April 2022 as they aim for a fully vaccinated target of as high as 90% of the eligible population is set to create continuing friction between the Federal Government’s pledge to re-open State borders and McGowan’s vow to keep the State safe from a wave of COVID-19 infections.

The ALP 51.5% (down 6% points since late August) holds a narrow two-party preferred lead in SA ahead of the L-NP 48.5% (up 6% points). This represents a swing of 0.8% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election. The ALP leads strongly in Tasmania with the ALP 55.5% cf. L-NP 44.5% - a swing of 0.5% points to the L-NP since the 2019 Federal Election.

Roy Morgan Government Confidence recovers slightly, up 1pt to 94.5The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has recovered slightly from its recent slide and is up 1pt to 94.5 in mid-September.An unchanged 40% of Australians say the country is ‘heading in the right direction’, while 45.5%, down 1% point, say the country is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

However, there is still a wide divergence between the States with Government Confidence well below 100 in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the tourism-dependent Tasmania, broadly neutral in Queensland, but continuing at a high level of Western Australia.

Government Confidence is lowest in Victoria at only 85 in mid-September, and only slightly higher in tourism-dependent Tasmania at 87. Government Confidence has recovered over the last two weeks in NSW although is still in negative territory at 94.5, slightly higher than in South Australia at 94.

In contrast, Western Australia is in a far more positive frame of mind and is the only State with a positive Government Confidence Rating above 100 – at 115. Western Australia has not been in lockdown for over two months and is set to host the AFL Grand Final for the first time next week.

Sentiment is evenly balanced in Queensland with 42.5% of Queenslanders saying Australia is ‘heading in the right direction’ while 43% say the country is is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ for a Government Confidence Rating of 99.5, just below the neutral level of 100.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan says the L-NP has closed the gap on the ALP on a two-party preferred basis for the first time since mid-June although the ALP retains a clear election-winning lead – ALP 52.5% cf. L-NP 47.5%:

“Today’s Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention shows the L-NP regaining ground on the ALP for the first time since the long Sydney lockdown began in the last week of June. The calls by the Federal Government, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, for the States to stick to the re-opening plans agreed at National Cabinet appear to be having an impact.

“The National Cabinet agreements essentially call for lockdowns to become a thing of the past and for internal State borders to be brought down when 80% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. However, WA Premier Mark McGowan has indicated this may not be enough for him to drop the existing border arrangements regarding WA if there is high ongoing transmission of the virus in other States such as NSW and Victoria.

“McGowan has indicated that the WA border may remain closed until as late as April 2022 depending upon the vaccination rates in WA and the spread of the virus elsewhere. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also been non-commital about opening the Queensland border. Interestingly enough – these are the only two States the L-NP leads on a two-party preferred basis.

“As long as Australia’s two largest States of NSW and Victoria remain in lockdown the ALP is set to enjoy the advantage at a national level. The ALP leads strongly in both Victoria: ALP 57% cf. L-NP 43% and NSW: ALP 54% cf. L-NP 46%.
“However, the decision of the NSW Government to outline a re-opening plan set to begin in mid-October when the State is set to reach a full vaccination rate of at least 70%, is already having an impact. The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for the weekend of September 11/12, 2021 increased 3.1pts to 103.1 driven by an increase of 10.3pts (+10.7%) to 107.1 in Sydney.

“The NSW Government’s commitment to re-opening the economy has already had a positive impact on consumer sentiment, but it is yet to be seen whether this will translate into a sustained rise in support for the L-NP Government which trails by significant margins in Australia’s two largest States.”

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?”

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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