Galaxy has first polls of the campaign

Galaxy has now spoken twice, and the campaign has only just started. Their first poll was reported in News Limited newspapers this morning, and shows essentially no movement since their previous poll. It was taken just before the election was called. Their second was commissioned by Nine just after the election and has the parties a dead heat. These are likely to be statistically the same result (can't find the sample size for the second one).


The first Galaxy poll shows a 52% to 48% two-party preferred vote, with Labor on 39% primary. The Coalition gets 42%. The second has Labor on 38% and the Coalition on 44%. These aren't good results for either side, but are probably better for Labor than the Coalition.


Other Galaxy results from the first poll are:

  • Julia Gillard has a 23 point lead over Abbott as preferred Prime Minister
  • 52% of voters don't think Labor deserves to win
  • 62% of voters don't think the Coalition deserves to win
  • 57% think that the way that Labor sacked Rudd will harm their chances

The fourth question is not one I would have asked because it invites respondents to double guess what others will do, which none of us is very good at doing. However, I've revised my view during the day. The sacking of Rudd is creating problems for Julia Gillard in terms of establishing her agenda. I stood behind the press scrum at her address in Brisbane, and rather than address the substance of her speech, after the first question the journalists were asking about Kevin Rudd. Kevin Rudd will keep Julia off message for some time yet, and can be leveraged by the Opposition not to move votes directly to them, but to prevent the PM moving on to issues that favour her.

What the other answers tell me is that in an election which voters think will be close, Labor, while unpopular, is regarded as better than the Coalition. So, if voters think it is likely to be close they will be more likely to vote Labor. Results like the ones we are getting from Galaxy will help to convince voters that Abbott could win.

By the same token, it doesn't say much for Labor that after one term in government a majority of voters thinks it doesn't deserve to be re-elected. It explains why Julia Gillard is campaigning as though she is actually the opposition leader. If you look at her rhetoric she spends more time distancing herself from Kevin Rudd (and implicitly her own record) than she does attacking Tony Abbott.

These are conditions in which the Greens vote could be expected to go much higher than it is at the moment. There could be some surprise, and not so surprise, results in this area. Inner city Melbourne and Sydney offer them their best chances.



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