Reporting on today’s Newspoll has focussed on seat outcomes, a bit of a mug’s game as it assumes equal swings across different electorates and other similar oversimplifications.
There’s a standout figure, however, that will be more worrying to Coalition strategists. That’s the loss of support in their most reliable demographic, the over 65s.
Have a reminder look at the Newspoll aggregates for the July quarter:
On primary votes, 58 per cent of the over 65s supported the Coalition. This rose to 65 per cent on two-party preferred terms. Likewise, retirees broke the Coalition’s way, 52 per cent on primary votes on 61 per cent on 2PPs.
Now look at today’s results:
Fifty-one per cent of the over 65s go to the Coalition on primary votes and 59 on two-party preferred. Forty-nine per cent of retirees back on the Coalition on primary terms and 59 on two-party preferred.
In other words, support for the Coalition has fallen from 65 to 59 per cent among its most reliable demographic, the over 65s, in the past three months. That’s a considerable drop, well outside the margin of error territory.
At the same time, two-party preferred support for the Coalition among retirees has fallen from 61 to 57 per cent, a similar move.
It might just be poll volatility, but there’s more than enough volatility at the moment to worry the government without this.
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