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.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
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.