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Labor loses four points in two Newspolls to slump to a 50--50 tie

A federal Newspoll, conducted November 20–24 from a sample of 1,216, had Labor and the Coalition tied at 50–50 after preferences, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the previous Newspoll three weeks ago. Primary votes were 38% Coalition (up one), 31% Labor (down four), 13% Greens (up one), 6% One Nation (steady) and 12% for all Others (up two).

In the final Newspoll taken before the October 14 Voice referendum, Labor led by 54–46. Three weeks ago, Labor’s lead had dropped to 52–48 and now it’s tied. This is the first time Labor has not led in Newspoll since June 2021.

Movements on leaders’ ratings were relatively modest, with Anthony Albanese’s satisfied rating down two to 40% and his dissatisfied rating up one to 53%, for a net approval of -13, down three points. Here is a graph of Albanese’s net approval in Newspoll this term.

Peter Dutton’s net approval was steady at -13, so Albanese and Dutton are now tied on net approval. Albanese slightly extended his better PM lead to 46–35 from 46–36 three weeks ago.

I wrote on November 19 that three polls on average had Labor just ahead, with the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise interest rates at its early November meeting probably causing Labor’s drop. This Newspoll is a continuation of that trend to the Coalition.

Albanese’s net approval has now been in the negative double digits for two Newspolls in a row. The net approval of the PM has been correlated with voting intentions in the past, so Albanese appears to be dragging down Labor’s vote.

Morgan poll has Coalition ahead

Last week’s federal Morgan poll, conducted November 13–19 from a sample of 1,401, gave the Coalition a 50.5–49.5 lead, a 0.5-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week. Primary votes were 37.5% Coalition (up one), 29.5% Labor (down 0.5), 13.5% Greens (up 0.5), 6.5% One Nation (up 0.5), 7% independents (down one) and 6% others (down 0.5).

This is the second Morgan poll that has had the Coalition ahead, after one conducted in the week after the Voice referendum. However, in that earlier poll, 2022 election preference flows would have given Labor above a 53–47 lead, while applying 2022 preference flows to this poll gives Labor just a 50.5–49.5 lead.

Morgan and Essential federal polls, which both use respondent preferences, have generally shown weaker results for Labor in the last few months than if they used 2022 election flows. It’s plausible that One Nation and others’ preferences have become better for the Coalition since the last election.

The July Fadden federal byelection gives some evidence for an improvement for the Coalition on preference flows from One Nation voters.

Wage rises are good economic data for Labor

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on November 15 that wages increased 1.3% in the September quarter for an annual growth of 4.0%. This annual growth is the highest since 2009, and has surged from a low of 1.3% in 2020 owing to the COVID lockdowns.

Before COVID, wages had been growing at about 2% annually since 2014. For the September quarter, the wage increase beat inflation by 0.1%, although it’s 1.4% behind inflation for the 12 months to September.

If wage increases at the current levels are sustained, Labor should benefit at the next election. But inflation and interest rates may need to drop before people start feeling more optimistic about the economy.

Far-right Javier Milei wins Argentine presidency

I covered the November 19 Argentine presidential runoff election for The Poll Bludger. The far-right Javier Milei defeated the centre-left Sergio Massa by a 55.7–44.3 margin. But the left still controls the Argentine Senate, though the combined right has a majority in the lower house.

Joe Biden turned 81 on November 20, and I believe US Democrats should consider replacing him as their presidential nominee owing to his age and unpopularity. The Spanish Socialists formed a government four months after the Spanish election.

A new government was formed in New Zealand on Friday after National, ACT and NZ First reached an agreement. I covered a NZ byelection for The Poll Bludger on Saturday that National won easily. In last Wednesday’s Dutch election, the far-right Party of Freedom won the most seats but is well short of a majority.

This article is republished from The Conversation is the world's leading publisher of research-based news and analysis. A unique collaboration between academics and journalists. It was written by: Adrian Beaumont, The University of Melbourne.

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Adrian Beaumont does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.