Labor leads poll at the campaign’s halfway mark

Labor has not regained the primary vote it lost in the opening stage of the campaign but could benefit in two-party terms from the stronger support for the Greens, given a declaration by Greens leader Adam Bandt on Saturday that voters should give Labor their preferences.

The Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1408 eligible voters from Tuesday to Saturday, a period when the campaign was dominated by questions over the Chinese pact with Solomon Islands and inflation results that heightened the contest on economic management.

The survey also covered the period Albanese spent in isolation with COVID-19 while Labor frontbenchers outlined a tax crackdown on multinational corporations and defended their climate change policy against government claims it would be a “carbon tax” that hurt coal miners.

The margin of error for the national results was 2.6 percentage points.

“This election is likely to see the growth of minor party votes continue, especially as most seats now have candidates running for the Greens, One Nation, United Australia, the Liberal Democrats and as independents,” Reed said.

“This makes the outcome less certain, especially in terms of preference flows, but it is something we have built into the poll by naming all the parties and local candidates in our vote questions.”

The gains for Labor in two-party terms were outside the margin of error when the calculation is made on stated preferences, with Labor increasing from 51 to 54 per cent from the survey two weeks ago, while the Coalition slipped from 49 to 46 per cent.

The shift was slightly smaller when calculated on the preference flows at the last election, with Labor up from 52 to 54 per cent and the Coalition down from 48 to 46 per cent.

Morrison leads Albanese as preferred prime minister by 39 to 33 per cent compared to a wider margin of 38 to 30 per cent two weeks ago.

Asked about Morrison’s performance, 42 per cent of voters said he was doing a good job and 51 per cent said he was doing a poor job, resulting in a net performance rating of minus 9 points. This was a significant deterioration on his net rating of minus 4 points two weeks ago.

Asked about Albanese, 37 per cent said he was doing a good job and 48 per cent said he was doing a poor job, producing a net rating of minus 11 points. This was a fall from his previous rating of minus 10 points.

This means both leaders are generating similar responses in terms of overall satisfaction with their performances after Morrison held a lead on these measures last year.

With early voting due to begin on May 9, the survey showed more voters were making up their minds about both leaders. Only 7 per cent were undecided about Morrison, while the proportion undecided about Albanese shrank from 21 to 15 per cent.


The fact that 24 per cent of respondents said they would probably change their minds and vote for a different party brings a significant degree of uncertainty. The “uncommitted” group has narrowed from 27 per cent two weeks ago but remains significant in a campaign with three weeks before polling day.

Because the Resolve Political Monitor asks voters to nominate their primary votes in the same way they would write “1” on the ballot papers for the lower house at the election, there is no undecided category in the results, a key difference from some other surveys.

The latest survey included a significant change in the questions asked of respondents following the formal declaration of candidates by the Australian Electoral Commission on April 22. With candidates now known, the survey asked respondents about their support by naming candidates as well as parties as they appear on the ballot paper.

Primary support for the Coalition fell from 35 to 33 per cent as a result of a 2 per cent fall in support for the Liberals while the Nationals held their vote steady at 4 per cent nationwide.

While independent candidates are taking on Liberals with high-profile campaigns in key city seats, support for independents nationwide fell from 9 to 4 per cent nationwide as the poll restricted the number of seats where they are offered as an option.

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