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Federal Labor barely ahead in latest polls; Victorian Labor takes a hit but holds Mulgrave at byelection

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

There have been three federal polls since my October 13 article[1] on the federal Resolve poll that still had Labor far ahead. These polls show a tie in Morgan and two two-point Labor leads in YouGov and Essential. There has been a clear trend to the Coalition in polls conducted since the October 14 Voice referendum.

YouGov hasn’t conducted Newspoll since mid-July, but is publishing its own polls now. The final YouGov Voice poll[2] was accurate, giving “no” an 18-point lead (actual margin: 20.1 points).

The latest federal YouGov poll[3], conducted November 10–14 from a sample of 1,582, gave Labor a 51–49 lead, a two-point gain for the Coalition since early October. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (steady), 31% Labor (down two), 13% Greens (down one), 7% One Nation (up one) and 13% for all Others (up two).

Anthony Albanese’s net approval dropped four points to -7, while Peter Dutton’s net approval improved five points to -7. Albanese led Dutton by 48–34 as preferred PM (50–34 previously[4]).

On November 7, the Reserve Bank raised interest rates[5] by 0.25% to 4.35%. This increase appears to have contributed to Labor’s poll slump, with Morgan’s consumer confidence index[6] down 3.5 points to 74.3 last week, its lowest since mid-July and continuing a record run of 41 weeks below 85.

Essential poll: Labor just ahead

A national Essential poll[7], conducted November 8–12 from a sample of 1,150, gave Labor a 49–47 lead including undecided (48–46 in late October). Primary votes were 34% Coalition (steady), 32% Labor (steady), 12% Greens (up two), 7% One Nation (steady), 2% UAP (down one), 8% for all Others (down one) and 5% undecided (down one).

This is the second Essential poll to be conducted since they changed their methods[8] to include weighting by educational level. The gain for the Greens implies Labor should be further ahead, but received a weak flow of respondent allocated preferences.

Respondents were asked to rate[9] Albanese and Dutton from zero to ten. Ratings of 0–3 were counted as negative, 4–6 as neutral and 7–10 as positive. Albanese had a 35–33 negative rating, reversing a 37–29 positive rating in August. Dutton was at 35–32 negative (35–27 negative in August).

On bushfires, 44% thought this season would be worse than last summer, 10% better and 46% about the same. Asked to compare to the summer of 2019–20, it was 31% worse, 19% better and 50% about the same. By 53–31, voters thought our bushfires are made worse by climate change over having nothing to do with climate change.

On interest rates, 52% (down 11 since June) thought they would continue to rise, 39% (up nine) thought we have reached the peak but they won’t go down for a while and 9% (up two) thought they would start to fall soon. By 49–15, voters thought rising interest rates had had a negative personal impact over a positive one (51–17 in February).

By 46–34, voters thought immigration to Australia was generally positive (50–35 in April 2019).

On the Israel-Gaza conflict, 21% (up eight since October) thought Australia should provide active assistance to Palestine, 17% (down six) assist Israel and 62% (down two) stay out. On tensions between the US and China, 27% said we should support the US, 6% China and 67% stay as neutral as possible.

Morgan poll: 50–50 tie

In last week’s federal weekly Morgan poll[10], conducted November 6–12 from a sample[11] of 1,397, there was a 50–50 tie between Labor and the Coalition, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week. Primary votes were 36.5% Coalition, 30% Labor, 13% Greens and 20.5% for all Others.

In a separate national Morgan SMS[12] poll, conducted November 9–12 from a sample of 1,650, 51% said Israel should withdraw their armed forces from Gaza immediately, while 49% said they should not.

By political support, 93% of Greens favoured immediate withdrawal, 64% of Labor voters and 75% of independents. However, 75% of Coalition voters, 78% of One Nation voters and 57% of other parties’ voters opposed immediate withdrawal.

Additional Resolve questions

In additional questions from the Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, by 54–18, voters supported[13] Albanese visiting the US and President Joe Biden. Support for his visit to China and President Xi Jinping was narrower at 38–31.

By 69–14, voters thought Australia should stay out[14] of the Israel-Palestine conflict for now, rather than intervene by calling for a ceasefire. Israel was favoured on questions on which side to provide aid or arms to.

Support for a treaty[15] between the Australian government and Indigenous peoples plunged from 58–27 in October, before the Voice referendum’s heavy defeat, to 37–33 opposed in November.

In another development, after losing preselection for his seat of Monash, Russell Broadbent[16] defected from the Liberals on November 14 and will sit as an independent. Broadbent is 72, and this shows that Australian political parties don’t want very old candidates.

Victorian Labor easily holds Mulgrave at byelection

A Victorian state byelection occurred in Mulgrave on Saturday. This seat was previously held by former Labor premier Daniel Andrews. Primary votes were[17] 40.1% Labor (down 10.1% since the 2022 election), 21.6% Liberals (up 4.4%), 18.9% for independent Ian Cook (up 0.9%), 5.9% Greens (up 0.8%), 3.8% Victorian Socialists (new), 3.1% Family First (up 1.1%) and 2.9% Libertarian (new).

The electoral commission’s election night preference count was between Labor and Cook, who finished second in 2022. Labor defeated Cook by 56.2–43.8, a 4.7% swing to Cook. I hope the commission will re-do this count between Labor and the Liberals.

ABC election analyst Antony Green expects the Liberals[18] to do slightly better than Cook against Labor after preferences. Given the retirement of a high-profile former member and the poor polling for federal Labor, I think this is a decent result for Labor.


  1. ^ October 13 article (
  2. ^ YouGov Voice poll (
  3. ^ YouGov poll (
  4. ^ previously (
  5. ^ raised interest rates (
  6. ^ Morgan’s consumer confidence index (
  7. ^ Essential poll (
  8. ^ changed their methods (
  9. ^ asked to rate (
  10. ^ weekly Morgan poll (
  11. ^ sample (
  12. ^ national Morgan SMS (
  13. ^ voters supported (
  14. ^ Australia should stay out (
  15. ^ for a treaty (
  16. ^ Russell Broadbent (
  17. ^ Primary votes were (
  18. ^ expects the Liberals (

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