If you’re wondering what the hell is going on lately with the polls being all over the shop, the time is ripe to run our trend measures to get a better grip on it all and maybe knock a few myths on the heads about what is actually happening with Australian political opinion.

First up, the two-party preferred results:

Over the past three months or so we’ve witnessed a gradual decline in Labor’s two party preferred, with that four-month strong flat-lining of 46/54 to the Coalition finally coming to an end in the last week of February. Between March and mid May the ALP experienced a three-point fade in the two party preferred vote — running at about a one-point loss a month — followed by a slight one point recovery over the past three weeks or so.

Of course, that’s not nearly as exciting as some have put it in our absence — so if you prefer your polls with a little more histrionics and generous dollops of SHOUTY farce, let’s have a quick recap (click to expand):

Ahem … quite. On the primary vote front, the Coalition picked up nearly three points between March and mid-May, going from around 46 at the beginning of March, up to a touch under 49 in mid-May — before pulling slightly back over the past few weeks to be sitting on 48.5.

The story for the ALP primary has been a little heavier, with the primary vote sliding from 33 at the end of February down to 29 in mid-May, before recovering to around 30.5 over the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Greens vote appears to be following some strange five-month cosmic cycle from peak to trough, picking up a point over the past few months to be sitting on 12.

The actual trend point estimates as of today come in like this:

Also worth mentioning is that broad menagerie commonly known as “others” are currently rounding up the difference at 9.1%, which is a 2.4% swing towards that group since the 2010 election.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey