Opinion poll number three for the week is from Gary Morgan, and it confirms the other two. Labor’s two-party preferred vote is at 57.5% (Nielsen said 57%, Newspoll 56%); that’s a swing of about 10%, down 0.5% from the previous poll. The lead on primary votes is 48-37, compared to Nielsen’s 48-39 and Newspoll’s 46-39.

So everything still looks very stable. But there’s one interesting change: the proportion who think Labor will win is down sharply, from 59% to 50%.

Just 35.5% expect the Coalition to win, up from 28.5%. That suggests that the outlandish media coverage of recent polls, especially the Galaxy poll of a fortnight ago, has had an effect on public perceptions.

Whether there’s anything more to it than that is doubtful. Prior to the 1996 election, polls showed a majority actually expected the Keating government to be returned; the polls had moved that way in the preceding months.

Some observers used that to construct a narrative according to which the polls of voting intention were just registering a sort of protest vote, and people’s “real” intention was to swing back to the government.

Sure enough, they were wrong: the voting intention numbers were the more reliable, and the rest was noise. I suspect that will turn out to be the case this year as well.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.