Monday, August 10, 2015

Polling update

The Coalition received two lots of unwelcome news over the last couple of days:

  • In yesterday's Fairfax press, a ReachTEL poll had the Coalition on 47 per cent (unchanged from the previous ReachTEL poll).
  • In today's Australian, the third Newspoll in the new series had the Coalition on 46 per cent (down one point on the previous Newspoll).

These results are better than the spate of 43s the Coalition received in February (along side the knighthood for Prince Philip). But we are no longer seeing the occasional 49, that we saw around the May Budget. With an election that is probably 13 or 14 months out, the Coalition has some way to go to be competitive.

In terms of the polls in aggregate, staying with the model I have followed the longest, the Coalition has dropped to 47.0 per cent. It has lost almost a percentage point over the winter.

Even the anchored models, which are typically more favourable to the Coalition, are predicting a clear Labor win, were an election held now. All models show a substantial decline over the past month, which has been dominated by discussions around the questionable use of Parliamentary travel entitlements.

Betting markets are always of interest in volatile times. Last week I reported that Sportsbet gave the Coalition a 60.2 per cent probability of winning the next election. This morning that is down to 57.8 per cent. I will be watching with interest.

There are some interesting differences in the Coalition leadership odds at the time of the next election. Centrebet has Joe Hockey on $81, whereas Sportsbet has him on $16. Centrebet has Scott Morrison ahead of Julie Bishop, whereas Sportsbet has it the other way around. I have not looked closely, but with these differences there may be arbitrage opportunities.

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