Three federal opinion polls this week offered something for everybody, with Labor taking a hit in Newspoll, extending its lead in Morgan, and staying put in Essential Research. But those who think Newspoll has it in for Labor should take a closer look at the numbers.

The Newspoll and Morgan results inspired much theorising on social media about which pollster was rigging its results in whose favour. However, the discrepancy becomes a lot less mysterious if we look beneath the surface of the headline figures and consider the results in a longer-term context.