This is it. The final federal election opinion polls before we head to the polls on Saturday show the race has tightened after Labor’s lead dropped this week. The Labor party and its leader Anthony Albanese remain on top in some polls but have slipped behind the Coalition and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in others, just days from the election.
The Resolve Strategic survey for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age released on Tuesday showed Labor’s primary vote slipped from 34 percentage points to 31 per cent in the last two weeks. That is a pretty massive slip in one fortnight. The Coalition, which was losing ground earlier this month, climbed 1 percentage point from 33 to 34.
It also showed Morrison remained as preferred PM, 40 per cent to Albanese’s 36 per cent.
However, the most recent Newspoll, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Australian, showed Labor still ahead with its support was steady over the last two weeks. The two-party preferred poll shows Labor on 39 per cent and the Coalition on 35 per cent — the same split it had two weeks ago on May 1.
In the latest primary vote poll Labor slipped from 39 per cent to 38 per cent but the Coalition remained at 35 per cent. The stray percentage point was picked by One Nation of all parties.
Morrison has also slipped a percentage point in the preferred PM poll.
But remember all polls show different results.
The latest The Australian Financial Review-Ipsos poll released on May 9 showed Labor’s primary vote well ahead of the Coalition, 35 per cent to 29 per cent, and Albanese with a strong lead of Morrison as preferred PM, 41 per cent to 36 per cent.
In the two-party preferred poll Labor also had a lead of 52 per cent to 40 per cent for the Coalition, which is pretty massive and if it actually played out Labor would win by a landslide. But the polls also showed Labor was ahead right before Morrison won in 2019.
It’s been a rocky few months in the polls so while they mostly seem to point to a Labor win, just, so much undulation makes it impossible to call.
Albanese was climbing at the start of the year but several polls released in April showed Morrison was back up as preferred PM after it handed down the 2022-23 budget and the media piled on Albanese when he forgot the exact unemployment rate figure in the election campaign’s first week. Since then he’s said a lot of good things, like showing his personal support for a 5.1 per cent minimum wage increase, to keep up with inflation. The Coalition has also been accused of not only allowing but creating a culture war over trans rights, which we can only hope is the reason why it’s lost a few percentage points in the polls.
A hung parliament is also a real possibility because minor parties and independents are expected to do pretty well.
The Coalition is feeling pretty threatened by so-called teal independents who are going in hard on typically safe blue seats, targeting long-time Liberal voters who are sick of Morrison and Joyce and want to see real action on climate change (hence teal: blue-green).
Support for the major parties has been on a downward trajectory for years so it’s possible we’ll see more Coalition and Labor seats lost to the Greens, minor parties or independents this time.