Three new polls to have a look at today over the Coalition leadership – Nielsen (Oct 8-10, sample size =1400), Newspoll (Oct 9-11, sample size =1153) and  Morgan Phone Poll (Oct 7-8, sample size 549). Both Nielsen and Newspoll used Turnbull, Hockey and Abbott as response options, allowing us a direct comparison:


Normally, when you get a large diversion between the same response in the same set of available responses with two different polls taken at the same time, one often also gets large differences with the Uncommitted/Don’t Know response as well – but here they are identical, making it all rather unusual.

It could be the questions, yet when we compare the exact wording of each, they are pretty similar.


“Which of the following do you think would be the best candidate to lead the Liberal Party”


“Who is your preferred leader of the Liberal Party out of…”

Both pollsters had the same set of available responses. We’ll try to get to the bottom of it – but it may have something to do with a high non-response rate or a detached public that didn’t really give much of a toss about the questions themselves. That can lead to higher than usual variation in the results – although it often doesn’t. We’ll see what pops up. The other possibility is that the wording used by the pollsters “preferred” (Nielsen) and “best” (Newspoll) – is responsible because of the slightly different connotations each word produces in the mind of the respondents.

Meanwhile, Newspoll also had the demographic breakdowns on a separate Turnbull/Hockey head-to-head:



The only thing notable here is the high male and Coalition Voter preference for Turnbull compared to Hockey. LNP voters would be expected to have a little lean that way because he’s the incumbent – so it’s really the Male vote that is the stand out.

Not to be left out of the picture, Morgan also ran a phone poll on this too.



Looking at the results of all three pollsters, if one had to pick a pollster that bucked the trend – it would probably be Newspoll.

Continue on to today’s vote estimates of the two big phone pollsters

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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