Can the polls be trusted?
Posted On May 7, 2022
Analysis: One of the few political commentators who railed against predictions of a Labor victory in the 2019 federal election believes Labor is on track to win on May 21.
Australian Financial Review political editor Phillip Coorey is not one to blindly accept polling numbers, and he joined the On The Trail: Election 2022 podcast to crunch the numbers with only two weeks until the federal election.
“If it was held today or tomorrow, Labor would probably win,” he said, when pushed for a prediction.
But he was also quick to point out the latest polls are still capable to shifting dramatically.
“There is a chunk of undecided voters but there’s an even larger chunk who are contemplating the minor parties and independents … and the trick for the Coalition is to get some of them back.
“Labor has a primary vote of around 37 or 38, they could almost win it from there on Greens preferences and other things.
“The Liberals really need to get their primary vote up to about 39 or 40, and that’s a big ask – you’re talking several hundred-thousand voters over the next two weeks.”
But Coorey, who spent part of this week on the campaign trail with Scott Morrison, said the prime minister sees reason to be hopeful despite trailing on polls.
“I was one of the few to think Bill Shorten wasn’t going to win (in 2019), I couldn’t see it all the way through, I always thought those (polling) numbers were soft,” he explained.
“Morrison’s view is that (2022 polls) are even softer than that.”
So how does the prime minister shift votes?
“The only real strategy he’s got is to just keep belting his message every single day about this choice on the economy – ‘Who do you want running the show over the next few years with inflation and interest rate pressures and global insecurity?’.
“He’s trying to distil it to that, it’s no more complicated than that.”
One man trying complicate matters is former colleague and predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.
“In many respects this may be the most interesting part of the whole election, because if more of these ‘teal’ independents win, it will mean the capture of the Liberal Party will be thwarted by direct, democratic action from voters,” he told the Washington Harvard Club.
Coorey said Mr Turnbull’s comments were motivated by revenge, and Australians were likely to be swayed.
“He doesn’t shift votes anymore, because people either like him or hate him and he’s just a malcontent,” Coorey told On The Trail: Election 2022.
“I think the think with Malcolm is he’s just so utterly, utterly disingenuous.
“If you’re going to try and torpedo a campaign, at least own it … he knows exactly what he’s doing and what the effects of his statements are.
“He’s motivated by one thing and it’s to take out every person who brought him down.”
Follow On The Trail: Election 2022, hosted by Charles Croucher and featuring Australia’s best political analysts, on Apple, Spotify or Amazon.