The swing to the ALP came as the Government struggled with a surge in cases of the highly infectious ‘Omicron strain’ of COVID-19 which was first reported in NSW in early December. Over the last month nearly two million Australians have been recorded as infected with ‘Omicron’ and the spread of the virus has forced millions of Australians into isolation either because they were infected with the virus or forced to isolate due to be a close contact of a confirmed case.
If a Federal Election were held now the ALP would be elected with a similar margin to that won by Malcolm Fraser at the 1975 Federal Election (L-NCP 55.7% cf. ALP 44.3%).
Australian Federal Voting Intention: Two-Party Preferred (2019-2021)
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source. Average interviews per fortnight n=2,000. May 2019–Jan. 2022. Base: Australian electors 18+.
This Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention and Government Confidence was conducted via telephone and online interviewing of 2,791 Australian electors aged 18+ from January 4-16, 2022. There were 7% of electors (up 0.5% points from mid-December) who can’t say who they support.
Primary Voting Intention shows support for the ALP holding 2.5% points lead over the L-NP
Primary support for the major parties was unchanged in January with the ALP attracting the support of 37% of electors ahead of the L-NP on 34.5%. Support for the Greens was up 0.5% points to 12%.
Support for One Nation dropped 1% point to 3%, while support for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party was unchanged at 0.5%. Support for Other Parties was down 0.5% points to 4.5% while support for Independents increased 1% point to 8.5%.
Voting Intention by State shows the ALP leading in all States – except Queensland
Voting analysis by State shows the ALP leading on a two-party preferred basis in States except Queensland – and importantly with large leads in the key States of New South Wales and Victoria.
The ALP enjoys a large lead in Victoria on 59% (up 1.5% points since mid-December) compared to the L-NP on 41% (down 1.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. This result represents a swing of 5.9% points to the ALP in Victoria since the 2019 Federal Election.
The ALP has also increased its lead in NSW since mid-December with the ALP now on 58% (up 1.5% points since mid-December) compared to the L-NP on 42% (down 1.5% points). This result represents a swing of 10.3% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
The only exception to the ALP’s dominance is in Queensland. The LNP holds a narrow two-party preferred lead in Queensland with the LNP on 51.5% (up 2% points since mid-December) ahead of the ALP on 48.5% (down 2% points). However, because of the LNP’s strong performance in Queensland in 2019 this result represents a swing of 6.9% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
The situation in Western Australia is also close with the ALP on 51% (down 2% points) cf. L-NP 49% (up 2% points) on a two-party preferred basis. This result reprensents a swing of 6.6% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
In South Australia the ALP is on 60.5% (up 0.5% points since mid-December) well ahead of the L-NP on 39.5% (down 0.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis. This represents a swing of 9.8% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election. The ALP leads strongly in Tasmania with the ALP 60.5% cf. L-NP 39.5%, representing a swing of 4.5% points to the ALP since the 2019 Federal Election.
Roy Morgan Government Confidence plunged by 9.5pts to 83 in January
The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating plunged by 9.5ps to 83 in January. Now only 34% (down 5% points) of Australians say the country is ‘heading in the right direction’, while 51%, up 4.5% points, say the country is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.
However, there remains a wide divergence of almost 30pts between different States with Government Confidence above 100 only in Western Australia at 101 while being the neutral level of 100 in all five other States. Western Australia is now the only State with closed borders, and also the only State without a significant outbreak of the ‘Omicron strain’ of COVID-19. At present, WA is set to re-open its borders to the rest of Australia in just over two weeks in early February.
The State which has the least restrictions, New South Wales, once again has clearly the second highest Government Confidence Rating of 85.5, and although still well into negative territory it is above the national average.
All four of the other States have Government Confidence below the national average including Queensland (81.5), Victoria (78.5), South Australia (78.5) and Tasmania is the lowest of all on 72.5.
Three of these States, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, only re-opened their borders late last year and have all seen far higher case loads of COVID-19 than they experienced at any other time during the pandemic.
Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says the ALP has strengthened its lead over the L-NP on a two-party preferred basis as the surge of the ‘Omicron strain’ of COVID-19 over the last month has put a significant amount of stress on Australia’s economy:
“Today’s Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention shows the ALP 56% (up 0.5% points since mid-December) increasing its lead over the L-NP 44% (down 0.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis during a holiday period in which the Omicron strain of COVID-19 ‘wreaked havoc’ on Australia’s economy as it surged around much of the country.
“Since mid-December, just a month ago, almost two million Australians have contracted COVID-19 – most having caught the new Omicron strain which was first recorded in NSW in early December.
“Thankfully the surge in cases of the Omicron strain has not led to as many hospitalisations and deaths as would have occurred with previous strains of the virus, although these numbers have still increased significantly due to the sheer number of people infected with this strain.
“The surge in cases of COVID-19 over the past month has led to many problems for the Australian economy with millions of Australians forced to isolate for periods of 1-2 weeks either because they were infected with the virus or were a close contact of someone else with the virus.
“These forced isolations have played havoc with businesses and supply chains throughout the economy – even people in Western Australia have been affected by the breakdown in supply chains for delivering goods despite very few cases of COVID-19 in the State.
“The surge in the Omicron strain has also led to millions of Australians requiring COVID-19 tests since mid-December which has led to long queues at testing centres and shortages in Rapid Antigen Tests. These issues have caused further problems with many people forced to isolate because they can’t get a timely test, or test result, even if they may be unlikely to have the virus.
“The supply chain issues caused by so many Australians isolating and unable to work has led to shortages of key goods such as meat and poultry at supermarkets while fear of catching the ‘Omicron strain’ has kept many people at home – starving hospitality and retail businesses of customers.
“The isolation forced on millions of people has had a huge impact on Australia’s employment market since early December. Although more Australians are now employed than ever before, many of the employed have been forced to isolate during this period and haven’t been able to attend work.
“This shortage of workers has helped increase overall employment as businesses take on additional staff on reduced hours to fill the gaps – which has led to a substantial increase in part-time employment of workers who would ideally like to work more hours – the under-employed. These dynamics are covered in more detail in the latest Roy Morgan employment estimates for December 2021 set to be released tomorrow.
“The good news is that the surge of cases has levelled off and appears set to decline in the next few weeks. However it will take longer still for damaged supply chains, and businesses, to return to normal and the recovery may be too late for the Government to regain lost support in the run-up to the Federal Election due in the next few months.”
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