Freshwater national poll holds steady at a 50--50 tie between Labor and the Coalition as Trump set for big win in Iowa caucus

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

A national Freshwater poll[1] for The Sunday Telegraph had a 50–50 tie between Labor and the Coalition, unchanged from a Freshwater poll for The Financial Review[2] in mid-December.

The Poll Bludger[3] reported that primary votes were 39% Coalition (steady since December), 31% Labor (steady), 14% Greens (up one) and 15% for all Others (down one). This poll was conducted January 10–11 from a sample of 1,007.

Freshwater has had better results for the Coalition than other polls, so Labor would probably have led if there was a Newspoll.

Anthony Albanese led Peter Dutton by 47–38 as preferred PM (43–39 in December). On Labor’s target to achieve 82% renewables by 2030, 51% said it would mean higher energy costs while 16% thought their bills would be reduced. On the cost of living, 81% said Labor had not done enough and 68% said they would not do enough in the next six months.

Morgan polls, Resolve likeability and Newspoll aggregate data

In my last polls article I reported that Labor led by 51–49 in the Morgan poll conducted December 4–10. In the Morgan poll conducted December 11–17[4] there was a 50–50 tie. In the poll conducted[5] January 2–7 from a sample of 1,716, the Coalition led by 51–49.

Primary votes were 39% Coalition (up one since mid-December), 29% Labor (down three), 13% Greens (up 1.5), 5% One Nation (up 0.5) and 14% for all Others (steady).

Nine newspapers released likeability ratings for various politicians[6] from the early December federal Resolve poll on December 28. The most popular politicians were Foreign Minister Penny Wong (net +14 likeability), Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie (net +10), Nationals senator Jacinta Price (net +6), ACT independent senator David Pocock (net +5) and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek (net +2).

The most unpopular politicians were former PM Scott Morrison (net -35), ex-Greens senator Lidia Thorpe (net -29), former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce (net -27) and Pauline Hanson (net -25).

A woman delivers a speech in the senate behind a lectern
A Nine newspaper poll found Foreign Minister Penny Wong to be Australia’s most liked politician among those surveyed. Lukas Coch/AAP

Albanese had a net -3 likeability, much better than his net approval[7] of -11 in the same poll, while Dutton’s net likeability was -12 (-8 net approval). Greens leader Adam Bandt was at -10 net likeability while Treasurer Jim Chalmers was at net zero.

Newspoll aggregate data for its three federal polls conducted from early November to mid-December was released on December 27. The overall sample was 3,655. In the previous aggregate data[8], from Newspolls conducted before the October 14 Voice referendum, Labor led by 54–46. In this release, Labor’s overall lead was down to 52–48.

The Poll Bludger[9] said Labor’s lead or deficit in the various states was close to the margins at the 2022 federal election. Labor led by 51–49 in New South Wales, 55–45 in Victoria, 54–46 in Western Australia and 55–45 in South Australia. Queensland was the only state with a Coalition lead, by 54–46.

Trump set for big win in Iowa Republican caucus

The Iowa Republican caucus is the first presidential nominating contest[10] of 2024, and it will occur Tuesday AEDT. In the FiveThirtyEight[11] aggregate of Iowa polls, Donald Trump has 51.3%, Nikki Haley 17.3% and Ron DeSantis 16.1%. The next contest is the New Hampshire primary on January 23, where Trump is being challenged[12] by Haley.

Read more: US elections 2024: a Biden vs Trump rematch is very likely, with Trump leading Biden[13]

I covered the Taiwan presidential election for The Poll Bludger[14] on Saturday, in which the centre-left and pro-independence candidate won with 40.1% of the vote (first past the post was used). Three US and UK byelections that are to be held from February 13–15 were also covered.

Queensland UComms poll: 51–49 to LNP

The Queensland state election will be held in October. A UComms poll[15] for The Courier Mail, conducted December 21–22 from a sample of 1,911, gave the Liberal National Party a 51–49 lead, from primary votes of 36.2% LNP and 34.4% Labor, with no other parties’ votes released. LNP leader David Crisafulli led new Labor premier Steven Miles by 52.2–47.8 as preferred premier.

An October YouGov Queensland poll[16] gave the LNP a 52–48 lead, and a September to December Resolve poll[17] implied a 50–50 tie, but Resolve has been much better for Labor federally than other polls.

Victorian Redbridge poll: Labor has large lead

A Victorian state Redbridge poll[18], conducted December 2–12 from a sample of 2,026, gave Labor a 55.9–44.1 lead, a 0.6-point gain for the Coalition since a September Redbridge poll[19]. Primary votes were 37% Labor (steady), 36% Coalition (up two), 13% Greens (steady) and 14% for all Others (down two).

Voters were asked their ratings of political leaders on a five-point scale, with 3 being neither approve nor disapprove. Labor Premier Jacinta Allan was at net -6, Liberal leader John Pesutto at net -13, Nationals leader Peter Walsh at net -15 and Greens leader Samantha Ratnam at net -21.

On the main impact of protests over the Israel-Gaza war, 30% thought they had threatened the safety of Jewish and Palestinian Australians, 21% raised awareness of the conflict and 19% pressured the Australian government to call for an end.

A woman in a black blazer talks The Jacqui Lambie Network would hold the balance of power in the Tasmanian parliament if polling results were mirrored at the ballot box. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Tasmanian YouGov poll: Lambie Network has 20%

A Tasmanian state YouGov poll[20], conducted December 21 to January 4 from a sample of 850, gave the Liberals 31%, Labor 27%, the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) 20%, the Greens 15% and independents 7%. Tasmania uses a proportional system for its lower house elections, so a two party preferred is not applicable.

If this were the election result, the JLN would hold the balance of power. By 53–26, voters thought it was time to give someone else a go over the Liberals deserving to be re-elected. A November EMRS Tasmanian poll[21] had 39% Liberals, 29% Labor, 12% Greens and 19% for all Others with no JLN option.

Lawler replaces Fyles as NT chief minister

Eva Lawler replaced Natasha Fyles[22] as Labor’s Northern Territory chief minister on December 21. Fyles had resigned two days prior owing to conflict of interest allegations, and Lawler was unanimously elected by Labor MPs. Fyles will continue as Member for Nightcliff[23], so there won’t be a byelection.

This is the second change in NT chief minister this term after Fyles replaced Michael Gunner in May 2022. The next NT election is in August, and a November Redbridge poll[24] had Labor well behind the opposition Country Liberals.


  1. ^ Freshwater poll (www.dailytelegraph.com.au)
  2. ^ Freshwater poll for The Financial Review (theconversation.com)
  3. ^ Poll Bludger (www.pollbludger.net)
  4. ^ conducted December 11–17 (www.roymorgan.com)
  5. ^ the poll conducted (www.roymorgan.com)
  6. ^ likeability ratings for various politicians (www.theage.com.au)
  7. ^ net approval (theconversation.com)
  8. ^ previous aggregate data (theconversation.com)
  9. ^ Poll Bludger (www.pollbludger.net)
  10. ^ presidential nominating contest (www.thegreenpapers.com)
  11. ^ FiveThirtyEight (projects.fivethirtyeight.com)
  12. ^ being challenged (projects.fivethirtyeight.com)
  13. ^ US elections 2024: a Biden vs Trump rematch is very likely, with Trump leading Biden (theconversation.com)
  14. ^ The Poll Bludger (www.pollbludger.net)
  15. ^ UComms poll (www.couriermail.com.au)
  16. ^ YouGov Queensland poll (theconversation.com)
  17. ^ Resolve poll (theconversation.com)
  18. ^ Redbridge poll (redbridgegroup.com.au)
  19. ^ September Redbridge poll (redbridgegroup.com.au)
  20. ^ Tasmanian state YouGov poll (au.yougov.com)
  21. ^ EMRS Tasmanian poll (theconversation.com)
  22. ^ replaced Natasha Fyles (www.abc.net.au)
  23. ^ Member for Nightcliff (en.wikipedia.org)
  24. ^ November Redbridge poll (theconversation.com)

Authors: Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

Read more https://theconversation.com/freshwater-national-poll-holds-steady-at-a-50-50-tie-between-labor-and-the-coalition-as-trump-set-for-big-win-in-iowa-caucus-220286