Real danger of the yo-yo poll. I can’t bring myself to have any faith in an opinion poll which finds in its last four surveys that Labor’s federal primary vote has gone from 36% in late November, to 32% in the second week of December, up to 38% in mid January and down again to 32% during the weekend just gone. What Newspoll is measuring I don’t know but such volatility is a poor guide as to how people would vote if they actually had to rather than just give an opinion to a pollster.
That being said, there is one thing that would trouble me greatly about this morning’s Newspoll if I was a Labor member with a majority under 7 or 8%: this testing of public views followed the announcement by the Prime Minister of the date for the next election. An announcement like that is far more likely to provoke a considered response than the hypothetical circumstances of normal questioning. The fear should be that this one is for real.