More Newspoll

Yesterday came Newspoll’s quarterly geographic and demographic analysis, featuring state-by-state breakdowns and such; today comes marginal seat figures from The Australian. Analysis galore at Possum’s Pollytics and Oz Politics.

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.

116 comments on “More Newspoll”

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  1. I am fascinated by the bigger swing to Labor outside the capitals than inside them. As I never tire of saying, it is the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party.

  2. If labor win this election it will be fascinating to investigate the voters as to why the universal change. Is it a myriad of little things, a few major items like Climate Change and WorkChoices or have people become scared of the Govt/PM. It might be the later – the morals and methods of this govt.

    See this exclusive in today’s The Age:
    “THE Howard Government has set up a secret propaganda unit to attack Labor’s plan to build a $4.7 billion broadband network. The unit has been established within the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, with a staff of about 10 on short-term contracts…”

    If this is paid for by the taxpayer isn’t it illegal? Who follows that up? The AFP? Isn’t it rorting?

  3. More interesting is Gregg Rudd quiting labor due to donatons to the coalition…

    It will be a lot of headlines

    Little impact tho. I mean nothing has had impact yet. And Greg jumped, didn’t wait to be pushed. Curiously on Friday, not news till Sunday.

    Most will be on ‘unions hit back at Rudd’ etc…

    Here we go again, the great Union bash continues

  4. The Marginals are indeed terrifying and give Rudd lots of breathing space going into an election. It worries me about how extreme Howard’s tactics will be in response to this – just how far from reality have they got.

    G Rudd: The lot of lobbying I guess must be making donations makes you look like a friendly. I wonder what the practice is of others that lobby? That is their business I guess. But of course you cant belong to one party and pay money to another. But really this is small beer.

    Howard Govt dirt units:
    However ‘dirt units’ that exist for political purposes and located within Govt Departments and paid by taxpayer MUST be illegal and require police investigation surely? It would make the Qld MP electoral rort allegations look minor in comparison.

    Will be interesting to see if it goes anywhere.

  5. I’m surprised that Rudd’s brother had to quit. Don Dunstan was for a short time a paid up member of the Liberal & Country League, but all he had to do was donate to the ALP the same amount that he had donated to the Liberals. He was never expelled.

  6. Another right wing extremist wins preselection for a safe Liberal seat(Michael Towke in Cook) – will there be any moderates left in the Coalition?
    I’m sure Howard is desperately searching for a new wedge issue – they must be hoping for a terrorist attack or another boat of asylum seekers.
    4 months out from an election, the polls ain’t looking too flash for the government.

  7. Chris

    As to the bigger swing outside the capital cities.

    Workchoices, it hits hard in country towns such as Cowra and Goulburn, as the ACTU ad says there are not alternative choices for work in those towns.
    House prices, increased due to investors looking for the tax benefits and pricing the townsfolk and their children out of the market. This is an issue in WA with the number of eastern stater investors owing houses there and will lead to surprise results.
    Environment to some extent with the water restrictions, health and telecommunication services and retail giants destroying local businesses.
    Perhaps more seachangers moving and the lower population base means do not lead a large amount of people to produce a significant swing.

    WA is of interest, Howard preferred PM has gone down 12 whilst Rudd is up 13 on what Beazley achieved, whilst Howard still leads there Rudd has a higher satisfaction rating with a high percentage undecided.

    The increase in labors primary vote in WA puts 4 seats within reach, the preference flow based on the 2004 election could be misleading, I don’t see why those not prepared to vote for mad Mark in the first instance would be prepared to give him their preference in the second.

  8. The takeover continues:

    “But if dirt has been dished at Morrison during the campaign, there has been even more thrown at Towke. The only serious contender for Cook without any public profile, the security business operator remains a mystery figure, having only recently changed his name from Taouk. His threat to the blue-ribbon field of thoroughbreds is based on a campaign in which he recruited hundreds of new members, many of them from the Lebanese community, to the party’s Miranda branch. As a result, Miranda delegates loyal to Towke will have 39 votes in today’s preselection, compared with 71 votes distributed among the other 11 branches in the electorate.” (Steve Lewis and Imre Salusinszky, The Aust, June 23)

  9. Looks like the coalition learnt nothing from the NSW election, the 3 big issues which saw Debnam go from favourite to also ran against a labor government that should not have been reelected are alive and well.

    If the NSW newspoll results are anywhere close to the mark we will see the annihilation that Howard talks of, I think Turnball will keep his seat but we could see a real clean out of the libs in the election. All for the good, it will bring in new blood to the labor party and new, hopefully more liberal blood, to the libs at the subsequent election.

  10. As I’ve already commented on the Possum’s site, the regional swing reminds me of Victoria in 1999. Kennett’s privatisations, closure of rail-lines and mass sackings from the railways etc, compulsorary public tendering for council jobs etc all impacted on the unorganised rual workers. The 1999 election saw a small swing to Labor in Melbourne but Brack’s won a raft of rural seats that no-one predicted.

  11. Nice work Possum, If those seats changed that would be the mother of all landslides.

    I think the ALP will win between 15 – 30 seats, the problem for the ALP is many of the Liberal Party backbench have proven to be good local campaigners making winning seats like Deakin and Dunkley difficult, while the ALP have done themselves no favors in seats like Higgins with a dud candidate

    Calling Ashburton Kath n Kim types isn’t smart considering the Ashburton and Alamain booths are Two booths that the ALP do very well in

    The interesting thing about Newspoll’s numbers is the strength of the ALP vote in what we consider safe Liberal and non capital areas meaning we may have a repeat of the 1999 Victorian state poll when the Liberals lost seats they hadn’t lost in a great many years.

    The reasons for this are varied but Kevin Rudd while some dismiss him as nerdy, but being a Social Conservative will carry much weight in rural areas and the small l Liberal in safe Blue seats will feel able to vote for him, also one thing he has done and that is leave Class based Politics at the door.

    The Liberal Heartland is indeed waiting with baseball bats and while some have said the main problem for the Liberals is the lack of new faces, thats an interesting point for I saw a list of people in the First Hawke frontbench, most had gone by the early 1990s.

  12. The Liberal heartland is waiting with baseball bats??? Where on earth did you get that idea from? Every Liberal I know strongly supports Howard and intends to vote for the party this coming election.

  13. A-C ask where did I get the following from

    The Liberal heartland is waiting with baseball bats???

    1 – Every poll this year has had the Liberal Poarty losing the next Election.

    2 – Newspoll has a 13.7% swing to the ALP in what it calls safe Liberal seats.

  14. The Liberal ‘heartland’ in any meaningful sense of the term would only constitute at most about 30% of the electorate, and as such none of the data demonstrates them to be waiting with baseball bats.

    But most swing voters in notionally safe Liberal seats are presently telling Newspoll they will vote Labor.

  15. BM, I’m very hesitant when it comes to believing a poll (or any poll) which shows an unheard of swing (greater than 1975 levels) against a government with satisfactory approval, yet to go through a recession and hasn’t imploded through scandal or political division.

    Yes the Liberals may well lose. But to say they’ll cop a 14% swing and completely lose the support of their heartland is wishful thinking.

  16. So A-C you haven’t believed any of the four polling organisation results? The one thing you don’t mention however is that this is a government that believes it can win an election by going against public opinion on the main issues. Not a good career move.

  17. A-C, the latest Newspoll conducted Apr-Jul had 3000+ voters from Lib seats held by 6%+ margins, and had Labor ahead 52-48 in those seats, a swing of 14.6%. The margin of error for such a large sample is only 2%. Remember that Bracks, Carr, Rann and Beattie at the State level have all won seats that would normally be regarded as Tory heartland.

    Personally, I think it’s the climate change issue that is producing such a swing – people realise that Howard won’t do very much, while Rudd will be much more pro-active. In the regions, people are on much harsher water restrictions, and are blaming Howard for it.

  18. Lord D, if people are going to toss out a government because the globe is supposedly getting warmer and they believe Australia can rectify it then Howard might as well book the movers now.

  19. I agree with Rudd as socially conservative; except for WA, the State Labor premiers have all won HUGE majorities by being socially conservative.

  20. For those with a slightly broader horizon,and an interest in what Oz coloies are up to – and yes I’m being (only slightly) ironic…- the PNG election results are slowly unfolding, using their new partial preferential system. Results are slowly coming through:
    But of course, the AEC’s roll in some of the problems with this poll will be a subject of later debate I’m sure.

  21. Latham was dammed by his behaviour which was based around Class based envy and his Policies were poor at best, at worst just outright crap

    Beazley was damaged by his connection with the Keating Government and his weak effort at Policy development

  22. Careful AC, we have a very definite stick with the theme of the hour mood amongst the posters on this blogs. Reality check comments like yours are most unwelcome.

  23. The difference between the state premiers (Beattie, Rann, Bracks) winning huge majorities and the possibility of Ruddy winning a huge majority is that in each of their cases, their landslides were in the second term – they could exploit incumbency. In a Federal scenario, Rudd would be going in with a possible landslide. This of course would be in line with historical Federal changes of power, go in with big majority and see it whittled away.

  24. If the ALP do win a large majority there will be two issues that could pan out to be extremely interesting in the long term:

    1. The level of ALP hubris from a clean sweep may be debillitating to the ALP (especially from the boneheads in NSW)
    2. The talented and ambitious staffers at state level will follow the real power and go to Canberra leaving state governments to make poor political choices.

  25. I think the polls must bring a state of delirium for Howard haters – all those pet issues over the years and it feeds into the fantasy that finally it has all come home to roost for the Rodent.

    Children overboard, IRAQ, AWB etc etc. Personally I think its outrage over ABC funding cuts that has produced the result predicted by PosseC of 1/3 of the seats in federal parliament changing hands.

    I would hate to be there if Howard does win. It will definitely break a lot of hearts.

    Ask yourself if you had a $100,000 would you put it all on Labor on Centrebet. I am willing to wager you wouldn’t at this point.

    You can say its over when the rat test kicks in, ie Cabinet ministers start annoucing there not recontesting.

  26. I finally twigged to what you meant regarding the Minnesota DFL – Labor have been there before especially in NSW – McKell in 1941 left NSW Labor a long term rural electoral legacy and which effectively kept the ALP in power in the close years (1950) and still existed enough to give Neville Wran his majority in 1976. It was finally wiped out in 1988, and hasn’t really returned.

    My question is – Where are these big non – metropolitan swings going to happen? Hinkler, Herbert, Leichardt – all feasible or the NSW North Coast?

  27. I agree to some extent with Lord D that climate change is a sleeper issue that the Feds have ignored (probably at their peril). However, in Victoria at least any regional anger on water will be directed at the Bracks government who are taking a ‘lets piss off Northern Victoria because they won’t vote for us anyway’.

    Following up on my earlier post, I am getting the feeling that the various state ALP governments are playing lots of politics with the Feds because they believe they can add to the general discomfiture – Bracks on the Murray Basin is a good example. What happens when Rudd gets elected – how will they differentiate in what will effectively be a one – party state?

  28. ESJ that depends on your political point of view but their is only so much political talent and the states will be left in many cases with the Second XI.

    Your point about people being heartbroken if JoHo is reelected. Yes they may be, but like it or lump it, the electorate will have spoken ….. and then the inevitable whines of We Wuzz Robbed ……

  29. BBP In the Ivory Coast when there is a regime change the most loyal retainers throw themselves in the crocodile pool because they cannot bear life without the former president.

  30. blackburnpseph

    The other problem that will occur if there is a landslide is that Rudd will fail to reform the ALP to broaden its base. If he only wins by say 6 or 12 seats, then he will get stuck in to the party structure to ensure it is more representative of the community. If he wins by 20 seats, then he probably won’t bother. It is something that Hawke and Keating failed to do, which is why they have been in opposition so long.

  31. The fact that Krudd’s own wife’s company made full use of WorkChoices and that his brother donates to the L/NP shows exactly how much ethical morality exists in Krudd’s family and show exactly why we should vote for the honest alternative – Howard.

  32. I doubt anyone will miss Howard and co that badly. But if Howard loses Brian Loughnane and Tony Nutt will be fed to the crocodiles whether they like it or not.

  33. SH – only a heartbreaker ie losing this year is going to force the ALP to reform – if they win the obvious question is going to be why change a winning formula

  34. Would this be same Howard who bailed out his brother’s company after said brother had swindled his employees out of their entitlements?

  35. Yes, the ALP is in such pressing need of reform – it has only won 20-something state elections in a row and has only leading the federal polls by a mile all year. What a terrible state to be in! Woe is us!

  36. “Ask yourself if you had a $100,000 would you put it all on Labor on Centrebet. I am willing to wager you wouldn’t at this point.”

    Probably not, Ted. Would you put half that amount on the Libs? Roy senior told me to never bet on anything that talks.

    Did you get any comfort out of Little Glen in the Tele today? Three (count ’em) barnstorming pro Lib articles plus an excellent chin out performance on Insiders, where Fran looked resigned and George was professional.

  37. Latham sure was no conservative – he was a progressive atheist. Rudd however is just a little version of Howard, and with his Christian image has a good chance of winning the election – why for some reason people need to believe in the ritualistic, superstious nonsense called organized religion. Regardless, it seams to be working for Rudd, and is unfortunately a necessary prerequisite for Prime Minster of Australia

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.”

    –Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

  38. “a necessary prerequisite for Prime Minster of Australia”. Curtin and Chifley were atheists, as is Whitlam, and Hawke is an agnostic. In the latter two cases this was well known to the public.

  39. Roy I am more a $1.07 odds type better. I honestly dont think anybody could call it now – though the polls would give you hope if believe the new mossiach is Kevin Rudd. Though I still believe on the policy positions/Sawford formula Howard should win.

    20 state elections well I think winning one federal has got to be worth 100 tasmanian or 25 nsw elections. Its like saying who cares if the Republicans have dominated the US presidency but hey the democrats consistently win Mayor of San Francisco.

    I’d say that being an atheist may have been OK in the past but no more – I suspect divorce, homosexuality would rule out political rulers these days given the increasingly sanctimonious American tone of our rhetoric on both sides.

  40. If the Democrats held the governorships of all 50 states, and had done so for the past decade, and were leading by miles in the race for the next presidential election, I think any reasonable person would conclude that the Republicans were the party in need of reform, not the Democrats.

    Neither divorce, nor homosexuality, nor atheism are any longer barriers to public office in Australia. Once again, Edward wrongly projects his own cynicism onto everyone else.

  41. Edward, to predict the return of the government based on the Sawford formula is to desperately clutch at straws. For a start, the inflation component of the formula may not be as clear cut as you imagine, which I explained in a previous post yesterday – you know where to find it. This means that it might actually predict a Rudd win.

    But all that aside, we are not living in some kind of programmed, formulaic world where you can count on a particular electoral outcome simply by knowing whether there has been a particular movement on interest rates, unemployment, and inflation. Sure, there seems to be a correlation based on some (NOT all) elections in the past, but the political landscape changes. The reasons why people vote for a party do change, and it will not always come down to simple things like inflation.

  42. I think one can never apply excessive cynicism to Australian politics. I take that as a compliment Adam.

    I think the point about our Federalism is that the Libs are the Daddy party and Labor the Mommy party which is reflected in the division of responsibility between the Feds and the States. It’s just that in this family daddy has a lot more power and clout then mommy.

    I dont think Kev going to supermarkets is going to change the fundamentals on economic management or for matter doing ads telling people how conservative he is. We all saw how well idealism went down with Medicare Gold though.

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