Roy Morgan has released their first polling of the Senate race, showing a very strong vote for the Greens.
The poll shows the ALP on 40%, the Coalition on 36%, and the Greens on 15.5%. On a state level, the Greens are polling strongly in all states, the best results being 18% in Western Australia and 17% in New South Wales, followed by 16.5% in South Australia, 14% in Victoria and 13% in Queensland, all enough to elect a Senator with a small amount of preferences in Victoria and Queensland.
In Tasmania, the Greens are on 21.5%, easily enough to elect one Senator but not enough to give them a chance of a second. In the ACT, Morgan’s poll has the Greens even with the Liberals on 27%, which would give them the seat on Labor preferences.
Overall, the result would produce a Senate with ten Greens, 33-34 Labor senators, and 31-32 Coalition senators, with Family First’s Steve Fielding losing his seat.
It has been widely argued that it is impossible to do Senate-specific polling. Many make decisions on how they vote based on the House of Representatives, and designs of ballot papers make the decision-making process very different. Having said that, there is still value in examining the effectiveness of this poll.
Despite criticisms in the past, Morgan’s Senate polls in 2007 saw the Greens bounce around between 8.5% and 9.5%, before settling on 9% in October 2007: almost exactly what the Greens polled in the Senate in 2007.
When examining the state breakdowns, they follow a different pattern to recent state breakdowns produced by Nielsen, although the major party votes follow similar patterns.
In terms of the major party vote, the ALP is up in Tasmania, about even in Victoria and South Australia, and down in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
In terms of the Greens vote, recent Nielsen polls have had the Greens polling highest in Victoria and Western Australia. I haven’t noticed a massive difference in the Victorian and New South Wales campaigns from the Greens, although the Victorian campaign has focused more on the race in Melbourne than the Greens NSW have on Sydney. Even still, the consensus has been that, for a number of reasons, the Victorians are expected to achieve a higher vote. We’ll have to wait and see if the Morgan poll is right, and Lee Rhiannon is going to easily win election.
This poll also predicts the Greens winning the seat currently held by the Liberals in the ACT. The Greens vote level is similar to a poll commissioned by the ACT Greens that put Lin Hatfield-Dodds on 26%.
While overall the figures are extremely positive for the Greens and should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s worth noting that the 15% for the Greens is not that far above the 13% received in this week’s House of Representatives polls. If you assume the Greens will poll slightly higher in the Senate, 15% is not that far off.