Roy Morgan - was honeymoon a one night stand?

It's getting hard to draw a bead on exactly where the Gillard coup has positioned Labor with the latest opinion poll, this time from Gary Morgan, showing the Liberals ahead of Labor by 51.5% to 48.5% on the two-party vote. Morgan also shows Gillard leading Abbott as preferred Prime Minister by 49% to 34%, although 48% percent approve of the job that Tony Abbott is doing compared to 40% who approve of Julia's performance.

There are a number of possible explanations for Morgan's result which diverges from Newspoll and Nielsen. One is that it is entirely due to sample error. 603 voters were surveyed, giving a 3.99% error at 50% in 95% of cases. So 51.5% to the Coalition could actually be 52.5% to Labor, which is about what Newspoll is showing.

It could also be that there has been a gradual deterioration in Labor's vote and that the honeymoon was a one-night stand, captured best by Nielsen who were polling over the first two days after the change in leader. As noted in another post, Thursday and Friday are not good days to poll and tend to overstate the Labor vote. (Don't ask me why, but experience says it tends to be the case).

It might also be that Morgan did a better job of capturing the areas where the election will be won. Gillard may be travelling well in the inner city (although I doubt it going on what my inner-city Labor friends are saying) and not in the outer suburbs. As much as anything the Penrith by-election drove the palace revolt, demonstrating in a very large controlled experiment just how badly Rudd was travelling in normally safe Labor areas.


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