Newspoll: 56-44

We’re apparently back to the routine of fortnightly Tuesday Newspoll surveys. Tomorrow’s effort shows Labor’s two-party lead steady on 56-44 and their primary vote up from 46 per cent to 48 per cent. The increase comes at the expense of minor parties and the Greens, with the Coalition vote unchanged at 39 per cent. Also featured are questions on the government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities (strong thumbs up) and whether troops should be returned from Iraq (two bob each way). The Prime Minister has at least narrowed the preferred leader deficit to 42-43, his best result since February.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

275 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

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  1. Thanks, Mr Squiggle.

    Looks to me as if 20 September was chosen so that the payments would fall within the election campaign.

    Unlikely now, IMHO.

  2. Ah, Edward StJohn,

    Given your history with poor Mr Gorton, it must be your hand that has written “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin” on the fence at Kirribilli.

    Unlike Nebadchadnezzar, however, I suspect that JWH will be reluctant to take to the paddock and eat grass like an ox after the election – even though some may think it just punishment for his part in the defilement of Babylon.

    No, I think that as a common-sense, practical person, JWH now is in the interesting position of not needing the Liberal Party anymore, but needing the nice Mr Rudd.

    This could be a bit tricky, given the vicious campaign alleging that Kev’s childhood recollections were a gigantic fib. Still it’s worth a try. We were just kidding.

    The one thing we don’t want Kev to do is rake over the coals, to coin a phrase, of the workings of the present government. Old irrelevant stuff – like AWB. Convention is against it, for a start. Could lead anywhere.

    No. We all want Kev to move on.

    And if he needs a good GG, we know where he can find one. Is a reference from Cardinal Pell any good?

  3. The term “Glassjaw” comes to mind regarding “The Australian’s” petulant display. Clearly they don’t like being challenged whether it’s by opinion or much, much worse, a few facts.

    Here’s a few more facts that will expose the assertions by Sol Lebovic regarding 2007 vs 2001 & 1996.

    By others in the media who claim that the 2007 polling for the ALP is not as strong as the 1993 polling for the Coalition (the unlosable election).

  4. Off-topic but just noticed on ABC News Online that JWH, bless his cottons, has committed a Beasley-esque stuff up live on radio – forgetting the name of the Liberal candidate for Franklin. Shows how seriously they take their chances, even against the buffoon that Labor endorsed…

  5. “As a newspaper we don’t know who we will support at the federal election”
    Well I’d be happy to put a thousand dollars on the Australian supporting Howard.
    Unlike their allegation, I’d suggest that many of us writing here do indeed have a long and intimate involvement with politics, much more so than the writers at the Australian.
    Here we have the sharks complaining about the minnows. Really. What delicate egos. They couldn’t hack it in Parliament. They haven’t got the ticker.
    On another topic, I have worked with Janelle Saffin in Parliament and she’s was truly excellent and dedicated Member. She has very extensive connections throughout our region, Timor, Indonesia, Myanmar etc and would be a great help to Kevin Rudd in the foreign relations field.
    I hope she gets the nod.
    Interesting coverage in the Terror today. A dejected looking Howard contemplating his future. The two page spread warned Howard that Rudd was stealing his “battlers”.
    Maybe the Terror is just starting to realise that the majority of its readers
    support the ALP. Perhaps David wants to slow the steep decline in circulation before it follows the Sun.
    Who needs to buy papers when you can read all you want online?
    The latest blanket coverage of Rudd and the supermarkets has stolen the headlines from Howard. When the people find out what the supermakets pay our farmers for their produce and see the difference in the supermarket price, they will be outraged. Maybe farmers markets will become even more popular. I’ve just come back from our local one – fresh picked, organic, local and cheap and not saturated with Chinese chemicals.

  6. Tit bits of info:
    Apart from “What Women Want” ( trying to get registered, I’ve now also seen a begging email from the “Climate Change Coalition” ( trying to get members ot register. They polled poorly in the NSW state election, but they also weren’t registered so there was no party label. Add this to the Republican Party apparently seeking to re-register, along with the attempted registration of Conservatives for Climate (, and I would expect an interesting mix of micro parties if there is a late election
    Also, in case people aren’t aware, it’ll be a bit of re-run in Cunningham with former member Michael Organ up against Sharon Bird (which could be interesting if the Libs vote gets hurt down there).

  7. The ever-obliging William has now created a special thread for people who want to vent their outrage at discovering that The Australian is a conservative newspaper. Please use that thread for any further frothings on that subject, and spare the rest of us from having to read any more about it.

  8. Forgot to add – I did also notice that “Brandon Raynor’s Green Liberals” failed to get registration (surprise, surprise!), falling foul of the new naming rules as well as being unable to prove they had 500 members (something like 30% of the sampling of members were people who denied they were actually members of that party…).

  9. Nice poll results for Labor in WA at the State level- How much that translates into Federal inklings remains to be seen in the other country, WA.

    As for QLD, I am very aware of the conservative bent of some ‘redneck’ sectors, yet Im all awash with confidence that QLD and SA will deliver for Labor this time around

    The tricky bit will be picking up some side order seats in NSW (2-4) and WA WA land, (1-2) and, one hopes from a Labor perspective, winning back the 2 Tassie seats lost (so the popular view would take as a given) on the back of Lathams late mail offering on Tasmanian Forests; Bass is no certainty. Next….

  10. As for ACT, NT and VIC, I think Labor is at the peak of its seat quota in those States, unless a big swing is on that I am ignorant of; now wouldnt that been a suprise, NOT. Off to the next stream>>>

  11. Strop,
    Your assumption about Victoria is based on an unusually poor result in 2004, which has left Labor looking for a sizable swing to win anything. With the exception of 1990, Labor hadn’t been below 50% 2PP in Victoria since 1977. In 2004, the Labor 2PP was about 48% (I haven’t immediate access to the precise figure, and am happy to have this confirmed/corrected).
    A reversion to the norm will involve a swing of around 3%. A larger movement – which seems likely on current evidence – will bring several seats into play. Deakin, Corangamite, McEwen, LaTrobe and McMillan are all Government seats at risk (in approximately that order, IMO).

  12. Hmmm, Strop – Well I’d have to agree that Labor can’t win any more seats in the ACT, what with there being no non-Labor seats there at the moment, but I’d have to say Solomon in the NT is ripe to be picked off by Labor at the next election – it’s one of the key marginals at the moment, 2.9% IIRC.

  13. Mr Q

    Of course your right about the ACT HOR seats; as far as Solomon goes Im not sure how thats going to go given the unknown factor of JWHs imposition of ‘salvation’ upon a State that isnt keen on the ‘big city folk’ sticking their nose in where they dont want it to be stuck, per se.

    However, only 9% of the population in Solomon is Indigenous, and Tollner only scraped in in 2001 (50.01) and didnt improve his margin much (2.8) in 2004; there isnt enough history in the seat to claim it as ‘stable’ for anyone. I wouldnt be surprised if it went to Labor, but Im not counting on it.

  14. Peter Fuller Says:

    July 12th, 2007 at 10:41 pm
    Your assumption about Victoria is based on an unusually poor result in 2004, which has left Labor looking for a sizable swing to win anything

    Gday Peter, hows you ?

    For the fussy, AEC indicates Labors 2PP in Victoria was 49.0 in 2004, a swing of 3.14 percentage points, but whats 1.0 between bloggers ?

    Actually my assumption about Victoria is based on a few things, not just the “poor” 2PP result in 2004.

    (1) On the whole, Victoria was Labors best results State for Labor in 2004 where it held all its own seats, including Ballarat (2001) which has been the only seat to change hands in the past 3 elections in Victoria (if you assume that the SEAT result is the critical issue).

    (2) In the order you presented, Deakin (since 1984), Corangamite (since 1929) McEwin (since 1996) and Latrobe (since 1990) have been Coalition seats for some time. The exception is McMillan which has changed hands several times since the 1980s, including 2004. This history would reverse the order of change likelihood you have ‘roughly’ put up for discussion.

    (3) The improvement in Labors 2PP vote in Victoria from 50.5 (1998) to 52.1 (2001) yeilded only one seat (Ballarat) which required a 5.5 percent 2PP swing to win it for Labor.

    (4) A 3.1 percent 2PP swing away from Labor in 2004 (49.0) produced no change of seats at all in Victoria, which makes me wonder if a swing in the order of 5.5 percent (circa Ballarat in 2001) will be needed for any seats to change hands in Victoria in 2007.

    Therefore, I stick to my statement that I think Labor is at the peak of its seat quota in Victoria, unless a big swing is on (i.e 5.5%+) in which case I would be put McMillan and McEwin in the frame ahead of Deakin, Latrobe or Corangamite. Over to you Peter……

  15. At 58-42 in today’s Newspoll state by state breakdown I’d say there aren’t too many Vic Coalition seats that aren’t in play (including Higgins, 8.8%). Brendan “Oils aint Oils” Nelson may yet have a shot at the Lib leadership. There certainly wouldn’t be a lot of counting to do.

  16. It should also be remembered that the ALP won Ballarat in 2001 when the sitting member (Michael Ronaldson) retired and the liberals had an unholy stoush on the way to the polls which included losing the endorsed high profile candidate (Russell Mark). What the Victorian results since 1990 show is:

    1. The liberals have usually endorsed good vote winning candidates
    2. Incumbency has definitely helped them

    Labor may do very nicely in Vic on a 2pp basis but it might yield many seats as the swing in 2004 was very concentrated in outer suburban seats – Aston, Calwell, Lalor, Gorton, Holt, Casey, Flinders. Swings in inner Melbourne were small or to the ALP (Kooyong). So there may be a whole lot of 8% swings in outer Melb without yielding anything.

    On that basis, the order might be Corangamite, La Trobe, Deakin, McEwen with McMillan or even Dunkley as an outside chance. McEwen is particularly interesting as it is so different – labor voting outer Melb mortage belt around Craigieburn and very rural – Mansfield, Yea etc. Will the outer suburban growth overtake the possible anger with State Labor over water – the latter becoming a major issue.

  17. “Swings in inner Melbourne were small or to the ALP (Kooyong).” Yeah, I bet they were popping corks all over Kew that night! 😉

  18. Strop,
    Thanks for providing the 2004 state-wide Victorian figure. I stand corrected in my orthopaedic shoes. Also acknowledgment to blackburnpseph for a customary thoughtful contribution.
    Because I consider 2004 aberrant, I think it’s worth also having a look at the 2001 pendulum. Obviously the swing later this year has to represent a movement from 2004, but if electors have changed allegiance in the pro-Government direction in one election, they are less rusted on than those who have always been committed Liberals/Nationals.
    Prior to 2004, the Deakin margin was 1.6%, McEwen 2.2%. My speculation that these are feasible Labor gains rests on the judgment that East Link tolls had a distorting impact on Deakin (which YRAW threatens to do in reverse this time around). In McEwen, interest rates were likely to have been a powerful influence. Fran Bailey has been a very effective local member, as has Phil Barresi. However, Ms. Bailey is up against difficult demographics, and I sense that her Ministerial role may have reduced her undoubted proficiency in local representation.
    Corangamite (5.3% now, 5.4% after 2001) has been shifting (geographically and psephologically) for a long time, and as its population becomes more concentrated around Geelong and its proximate coast, it becomes less favourable for the Liberals. It also seems doubtful that the aging Stuart McArthur will have a large personal vote.
    McMillan (5.0%, 2.9%) and LaTrobe (5.8%, 3.7%) seem less likely to me. The LaTrobe MP, Jason Wood, succeded an outstanding marginal seat campaigner Bob Charles in 2004, and faced a fairly strong Labor candidate. The sophomore effect should help Wood. Christian Zahra had been a good local Member in McMillan, but redistribution cost him the seat. However his standing must surely have moderated the swing last time, which makes the 5% margin skinny. Labor also did poorly in the State seats in and near McMillan in November last year, which makes it likely that the Liberal vote will be more sustainable here than elsewhere.
    Normally, I don’t go in for this kind of seat by seat analysis, as I argue that when a tidal wave swing is on, good and less good MPs get swamped just on the basis of their statistical vulnerability. However, there are always idiosyncratic exceptions to this, which I guess is why we spend (waste?) time chewing the fat about it.

  19. Its not a waste of time Peter, its something interesting to do with people with a keen interest in Oz politics and where this place we call home is heading.

    I think we have targeted the right number and right type of seats which are shall we agree ‘vulnerable’ ? How it pans out come election time is open to debate re all five seats. A big swing swamps good sitting members along with duds as you rightly point out Peter-

    Should be interesting but Im still not counting on Labor gains in Victoria to win Govt where other States (QLD/SA/NSW/TAS) should do that part. Victoria is one place where Id be hoping for any seat gains to nullify any Labor losses, particularly in WA or the inevitable ‘rogue’ seat losses.

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