Source: The Mercury, 22 September, 2001, p.29
THREE days after a Bulletin Morgan poll gave the Coalition Gov- ernment a huge 20-point lead, a new poll by the same company has put Labor just back in front. The latest Morgan re- search, released yesterday, showed Labor had edged in front with 51 per cent of the vote on a two-party preferred basis to the Coalition's 49 per cent. Were an election held now, the result would be deter- mined on minor party prefer- ences, the polling showed. The differing results are explained by different polling methods. The first, giving the gov- ernment a 60 per cent to 40 per cent lead over Labor, was conducted by telephone, but the new poll was conducted last weekend using face-to- face interviews, which Mor- gan said was the only consis- tently reliable measure of voting intention. Following the US terrorist attacks, refugee problems the collapse of Ansett and a fall in consumer confidence, it found the Liberal-National Coalition had 41 per cent support (up 4.5 per cent in a week), equal to the ALP. Support for all minor par- ties had dropped. Morgan Poll head Gary Morgan said the company would review its telephone poll methods after the sur- prisingly different results. Mr Morgan said he knew telephone polls were not as accurate as those done face to face but was surprised at the extent of the inaccuracy. "It was greater than I thought it would be," he said. Mr Morgan said that in times of crisis, with one party getting a lot of publicity, telephone polls were biased towards that side. Labor leader Kim Beazley conceded the ALP was suffer- ing in the polls for taking a principled stand on the illegal immigrants on board the Norwegian freighter Tampa. AAP
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