Ipsos poll shows Coalition narrowing gap with Labor

Labor still leads 51-49, but Ipsos contradicts trend of other surveys which show Coalition trailing by a wider margin

Federal Labor remains in an election-winning position but the Coalition has narrowed the gap, according to a new Ipsos poll.

The poll conducted for Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and the Age has the opposition leading the Liberal-National Coalition 51-49 on the two-party-preferred measure, down from 54-46 in December.

Labor’s primary vote has fallen from 37% to 33% over two months, while the Coalition’s rose from 36% to 38% in the poll of 1,200 voters.

The poll also had the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, losing ground on his personal approval rating, with his net approval falling from minus nine to minus 12 percentage points.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, saw his net approval rating bump from eight to nine percentage points, within the poll’s 2.9% margin of error.

The poll comes after Morrison last week ramped up the rhetoric on border protection following a historic loss in parliament on legislation making it easier for refugees to get medical transfers to Australia.

The bill – put forward by the independent MP Kerryn Phelps and supported by Labor – marked the first time a sitting government has lost a substantial vote on the floor of the House of Representatives since 1929.

It prompted the government to begin a significant ramp-up in its rhetoric on border policy – Morrison announced the reopening of the Christmas Island detention centre.

The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, told a Sydney radio station the bill would allow people with “serious allegations of sexual assault or being involved in sexual relationships with young girls” to enter Australia – despite the bill containing provisions preventing asylum seekers with a substantial criminal record from entering the country.

The latest poll contradicts the broader polling trend which has shown the Coalition trailing Labor by a wider margin in the lead-up to a likely May election. Earlier in February an Essential poll carried out for the Guardian showed the opposition holding a 55% to 45% lead over the government on the two-party-preferred measure.

Meanwhile, a separate YouGov Galaxy poll of 810 Queenslanders has Labor ahead 52% to 48% in the state on a two-party-preferred basis, although 40% of those polled said they were less likely to vote for Labor because Shorten is the party’s leader.

Some 46% of respondents were against the opposition’s policy to abolish franking credits for some retirees, while 36% said the plan would have no bearing on their vote.

Despite this the Liberal National party’s primary vote dropped three percentage points to 35% since the last poll in November, against Labor which was unchanged on 34%.

Contributor

Michael McGowan and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Labor comfortably ahead of Coalition in Guardian Essential poll
ALP leads the two-party preferred measure 53% to 47% coinciding with a messy period for the government

Katharine Murphy Political editor

11, Mar, 2019 @5:00 PM

Article image
Essential poll: majority of voters think inequality in Australia is increasing
Labor remains ahead of the Coalition on two party preferred basis, but margin of lead narrows as government’s primary vote increases

Katharine Murphy Political editor

31, Jul, 2017 @6:00 PM

Article image
Labor ahead in Essential poll as voters prefer social spending to tax concessions
Survey puts opposition ahead of Coalition 52% to 48% on two-party-preferred, with voters split on medical evacuations bill

Katharine Murphy Political editor

25, Feb, 2019 @5:00 PM

Article image
Labor extends lead as Coalition's negative campaigning flops
The latest Guardian Essential poll shows two-party-preferred lead over the government has blown out to 54% to 46%

Katharine Murphy Political editor

03, Dec, 2018 @5:00 PM

Article image
Turnbull government records 80th straight loss in Guardian Essential poll
Prime minister has lost 17 points from his personal approval rating since the end of 2015

Katharine Murphy Political editor

09, Apr, 2018 @6:00 PM

Article image
Essential poll: Labor's two-party-preferred lead jumps to 10 points
The leadership change fails to give the usual bounce, while Julie Bishop is ahead of Scott Morrison as best leader

Katharine Murphy Political editor

27, Aug, 2018 @6:00 PM

Article image
Is the medical transfer bill the hill Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten are willing to die on? | Peter Lewis
A seemingly benign piece of humanitarian legislation takes on surplus meaning leading up to the election

Peter Lewis

12, Feb, 2019 @1:08 AM

Article image
Women abandon Coalition, with fewer than one in three backing it, Essential poll shows
After months of damaging revelations, the female primary vote falls to 31%

Sarah Martin Chief political correspondent

29, Apr, 2021 @1:48 AM

Article image
The Guardian Essential Report, 14 January results
A summary of the results of polling on Australian politics and national opinion

15, Jan, 2019 @4:02 AM

Article image
Essential poll: Labor lead widens amid Coalition's internal divisions
Malcolm Turnbull’s disapproval rating is up four points in a month as brief budget honeymoon fades

Katharine Murphy Political editor

10, Jul, 2017 @6:00 PM