The final Fairfax-Ipsos poll of the 2016 election shows that Labor and the Coalition are locked in a 50-50 embrace based on second and subsequent preference flows recorded in the 2013 poll when Labor’s electoral support had tumbled.
With most Australians preparing to cast their votes, the polls indicate that around 50% intend to give Labor either their first or second preference.
The contradiction indicates a possible dead heat in Saturday’s polls, where the scales can tip either way with a Labor win, a narrow Coalition victory, or a hung Parliament if no side claims an absolute majority in the House of Representatives.
The polls show that 27% of voters are backing the Greens and other crossbench parties and independents.
The 51-49 split in Labor’s favour clearly indicates a disconnect between voter expectations and voter intentions. When respondents were asked specifically which party would receive their second preference on Saturday, Labor edged into the lead at 51-49 – an identical outcome to that returned in the last two fortnightly Fairfax-Ipsos polls
The closeness of the polls has the parties – major and minor – working for every last vote even as polling day closes in.
The nationwide survey of 1377 electors was conducted between Sunday, 26 June, and Wednesday, 29 June, found the proportion of voters intending to vote for parties other than the majors remains high at 27%.