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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Puglisi

False claims about polling spreading online as support for Voice to Parliament continues to slide

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

New polling from RedBridge Group shows every single state is now in the 'No' camp.

False claims about the accuracy of recent election polling is spreading online, as support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament continues to slide.


Data from RedBridge Group published yesterday showed that 'Yes' is now behind in every single state. In NSW, 'No' is ahead 56-44, in Victoria 55-45 and in Queensland 63-37.


Multiple polls over recent months have showed support for the Voice sliding, both at a national level and on a state-by-state basis.


RedBridge's Tony Barry has told 6 News that "messages around the 'Yes' weren't particularly compelling or persuasive" when it came to those polled.

On social media, false claims have emerged about the accuracy of polling when it comes to previous elections, with claims of bias also levelled.


In 2019, polling for the federal election was infamously wrong, with a Newspoll conducted shortly before election day giving Labor a lead of 51.5 to 48.5 over the Coalition (the actual two-party-preferred (2PP) result was essentially that result, but flipped when it comes to the parties).


However, a lot has changed since then. Newspoll is now entirely online polling compared to telephone polling, and polls appear to be a lot closer to the actual result.


A Newspoll conducted just before the 2022 federal election had Labor with 53% on 2PP - it ended up being 52.1%, and every single poll conducted that year had given Labor a 2PP lead of some kind.


At the Victorian state election the same year, the last Newspoll before election day gave Labor 54.5% on 2PP - it ended up being 55%, and every single poll conducted that year had given Labor a 2PP lead of some kind.

Some have pointed towards a poll in Daniel Andrews' seat of Mulgrave at that election as proof of incorrect polling.


At the time, the Herald Sun reported: "[Independent candidate] Ian Cook’s campaign manager Emily Coltraine...said that a survey done at Mulgrave’s only early voting station last Saturday and on Monday showed Mr Andrews is at risk of losing the seat...with preferences factored in, a sample of 159 voters had Mr Cook on 57.2 per cent lead and the Premier on 42.8 per cent, she said."


In short, that was not a poll conducted by any news outlet - it was information coming from Cook's campaign manager.


With the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in 2017, every single major poll also gave 'Yes' the lead - the last Newspoll had Yes at 63%, and it ended up being 61.60%.


It's a similar story with NSW back in March - all polls in 2023 gave Labor a 2PP lead of some size. The last Newspoll before the election had the ALP at 54.5%, and they ended up with 54.26%.


On the allegations of bias, it's worth noting News Corp does not conduct Newspoll - it's administered by international market research group YouGov, then published in The Australian.


And for the record, RedBridge director Kos Samaras is a former Labor strategist and has confirmed publicly he supports the Voice to Parliament.


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