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. Or… maybe Australians are sick of Howard’s heavy-handed paternalism. They might be looking for a more compassionate government, or what you might call a “Mummy” government.

  2. Noocat,

    Its an interesting point, if Rudd wins I can see the editorials writing him up as a tactical genius and if he loses they probably will pick something mundane as the grocery prices stunt as the beginning of the end (although it should be Medicare Golds IR policy in fairness)

    I am inclined to the Marxian determinist view of history, objective factors determine the outcome although I admit in some cases a particularly good or bad leader can affect an outcome.

  3. Ted,
    Re the Sawford formula. There used to be an NRL (nee ARL) formula that said that a team couldn’t win a grand final unless it had been in a losing grand final within the previous five years. That was true for about a million years and then along came Murdoch, of all people, who upended all formulae, kicked teams out, bought four or five teams of his own and basically said – “F**k formulae, I want the Melbourne Storm to win. And win they did. And formula driven football was lost forever. Even the Bunnies came back. So why would Federal Politics be any different? Hang your hat on an obscure 80% trusim all you like, but it means jack s**t at the counting house.

  4. Blackburnpseph,

    I can be a little obscure at times. If socio-economic grounds were all that counted, rural folk would, of course, vote Labor, but other factors come into play. One lesson from the 1999 Victorian election is the huge amount of work that John Brumby did in the bush to help get Steve Bracks across the line. This work paid off handsomely in the following 2002 and 2006 landslides to Labor. If federal Labor can do the same, it is home and hosed. That the polls are showing bigger swings in the bush than the city suggests an important shift, though we must be aware that the non-capital city category includes provincial cities and trendy coastal areas as well as the real bush. (I occasionally see some denizen of the bush write to complain about the bush being referred to as such. As a former resident of the bush, no one I knew ever had a PC problem with it.)

    I have no idea where the big non-metro swings will happen.


    Given that Kevin Rudd’s brother has resigned from the ALP because he had made donations to other parties, do you think the AMWU will be disaffiliated because of the donation that you revealed it made to the Greens? Imagine the re-proportioning of internal power if that happened.

    Simon Howson,

    There is no need for the ALP to restructure if you mean reduce union influence. The fact that unions represent only 20 per cent of the working population has nothing to do with the ALP’s internal structures. One could argue that the almost 2,000,000 unionists in the country are way under-represented in the ALP in that they have only the same 50 per cent vote as the 40,000 or so full members. In any case, Labor voters are happy to elect unionists in election after election.

  5. Instead of “As a former resident of the bush, no one I knew ever had a PC problem with it” – which is ungrammatical – I should have typed, “As a former resident of the bush, I never met anyone who had a PC problem with it”.

  6. Edward, when I scratch a Liberal I always find a cynic like you, someone who thinks that the only things that motivate people are greed and fear, and whose political behaviour is governed by that belief. Thanks for confirming that. The reason I could never be a Liberal, despite my right-wing views on many issues, is that I can’t stand their cynical contempt for the Australian people. The Labor Party, for all its failings, at least tries to appeal to higher motives. You can scoff all you like about Medicare Gold, and I agree it was a badly thought-out policy, but I will defend its idealism – it would indeed be nice if we could give free health care to the elderly. If I had to choose either Medicare Gold or WorkChoices – stripping low-paid workers of their entitlements – as my political legacy, I know which one I’d choose.

  7. I’ve been doing some thinking about this coming election – maybe an ALP win this year will be better for the Coalition in the long term…

    bbp previously mentioned all the hubris which would inevitably come with controlling every single government in the nation. Who exactly could Labor blame for any bad outcomes? There’d be no one to pass the buck to. We’re also well overdue for an economic downturn… If Labor does win, then the State governments would start falling like dominos – this surely wouldn’t be a good look for Rudd.

    Federal Labor is also running on a “we’re not planning on doing anything except signing Kyoto, bringing our IR laws back to the pre-Hawke era and watching grocery prices” ticket. In the long term, lack of a social revolutionary type program would surely disappoint the bleeding heart ‘true believers’ which make up most of the ALP…

  8. Most ALP true believers just want Howard gone as number one priority. Social revolutions can wait a little longer and can be worked on in time.

  9. Well said Adam. Like you i am surprised at the lack of thoughtful or compassionate liberals. Perhaps the overwhelming left view on this (and other) blogs puts of the decent ones, but all we seem to get is the right-wing idealogues. Those who have no real values outside of ‘I’m OK, screw you’, or the stupid reds-under-the-bed diehards.

    I’m also right in many of my views, but like you and many thoughtful people I cannot stand this govt and it’s cynical manipulation any longer. Hopefully there are enough ‘real’ liberals out there who also think the same and who are switching votes this time. It’s only three years after all !

  10. Adam, it’s impossible for the Left to understand the Right. What you guys mistake for “contempt for the ordinary folk”, greed, fear and “stripping entitlements” we view as fostering individualism, free enterprise and protecting the moral fabric of society.

    On the other hand the Left loves “free health care for the elderly” (read: un-sustainability, higher taxes, tragedy of the commons), “idealism” (read: collectivism). Conservatives are sceptical of these motives because they generally involve larger government and/or social engineering.

  11. by your logic
    “Conservatives are sceptical of these motives because they generally involve larger government and/or social engineering.”
    then i will be sceptical of J-HO and so will 58% of the people

  12. Right and Left aside, the big differences between the two parties I see are the policies.

    But this is a blog about polls. There’s plenty of others where people can flame each other all day about ideology.

  13. A-C I agree with your opening sentence, and I dare say the reverse is also true. This explains the curious paradox of Australian political life. Although the policy differences between the two major parties are not all that great, the level of partisan animosity in Australia is as high as ever, maybe higher.

    Recently in Britain a Conservative MP defected directly to the Labour Party, and several others did so over the Blair years. During the Thatcher years there was at least one defection in the opposite direction. I cannot recall such a thing happening in Australia, and I find it hard to imagine. MPs who leave their parties here usually become independents or join a minor party. The cultural gulf between “Labor people” and “Liberal people” is so wide that it is virtually impossible to cross it in one bound. (I suppose Brendan Nelson is the nearest approach, but he wasn’t in Parliament when he defected.)

  14. # Grooski Says:
    July 15th, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Most ALP true believers just want Howard gone as number one priority. Social revolutions can wait a little longer and can be worked on in time.

    Grooski there will be no social revolution under Labor. The worker will still have to work hard, the unemployed will still be, Homosexuality will still have little rights, Pensioners will still live on a pittance. Hospitals will still be in crisis etc etc. I see this as similar to a football grand final, great for the winning team, great for the supporters but then life goes on and nothing really changes. I am afraid the day of a party being something totally new is gone and both parties in the end will do as big business wants. ( a check on political donations will show what i mean ) Unions support the ALP at the moment but that will change too as the ALP outlaws the right to stike outside an EBA and will not tolerate a YR@W campaign. Interesting to note the union bosses who support the ACTUs YR@W campaign are running in seats for the ALP who will outlaw it. Seems that either they dont have a voice in the ALP or they have shafted the worker . Either way Howards Work choices or Rudds Work choices lite will serve the worker little good

  15. With all respect A-C, I cannot believe that people would ever argue that losing an election would bring greater long term success. Silly people were saying that in relation to the ALP in the lead up to the 1998 election, the idea beaing that allowing Howard to implement the GST would lead to a backlash and an ALP government at the next election as well as a stack of GST revenue. Politics is not chess, its checkers.

  16. Nostro, Rudd’s wife didn’t use WorkChoices old son. For someone who thinks they can tell the future you’re pretty hazy on the past. Time to move on before your brain turns to mush…

  17. If the polls are saying that the ALP has a 56-44 2pp lead over the Coalition,I would be pretty confident that there would be some “right” leaning voters who are not going to vote for the Coalition.Just as some of the “left”voters have doubts over Labor.

    Quote:That Guy Says:
    July 15th, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Right and Left aside, the big differences between the two parties I see are the policies.:End Quote:

    Why are the polls so bad for the government?
    The quote above is I believe to be a more correct assessment of the current thinking of the nation.My perception since Mr Rudd took over is that it is he that has been setting the policy agenda,Mr Howard is trying to react to polling that is not good for the government,trying to play catch-up,or as John Howard has said “irritants” to be checked off the list.

    Therein may lie the difficulties for Mr Howard.What he may see as an irritant can be seen as big issues for people who go about their daily lives without taking too much notice of blogs such as these or politics in general.Some of my workmates for example have openly said “we’ll show him what an “irritant “is at the next election”.He may not have meant it in a derogatory manner,but that may be how he is being perceived.

    Mr Howard has a lot of baggage which has been picked over his tenure in Parliament.He has a record of not being truthful or outright lying,all for the political gain of himself,his party,and it’s big business supporters.The No GST,We’ll never sell Teltsra,Children Overboard,Tampa,Iraq,AWB,Climate Change scepticism.and the grand daddy of them all-Workchoices.I think it was work choices which may have hardened people against the Coalition.It may not be the biggest single issue but it is possibly “the last straw which broke the camels back” for a lot of people.

    I am not a leftie or rightie, but I am a supporter of Mr Rudd,I am not a memeber of a political party or a union,but only a family man with kids and a mortage who wants a different future than the one Mr Howard has for us.

  18. alphacoward Says:
    July 15th, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    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 –

    How true!

  19. sondeo de opinion Says:
    July 15th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I am not a leftie or rightie, but I am a supporter of Mr Rudd,I am not a memeber of a political party or a union,but only a family man with kids and a mortage who wants a different future than the one Mr Howard has for us.

    Can you tell us what the future Rudd has for us and how it will change largely for the better for most Australians? I just cant see where i will be better of apart from the maybe and thats a big maybe the removal of ALL AWAs

  20. blackburnpseph Says:

    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:


    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.

    It is already happening. I have a close relative high up in a (large) state government, and they are losing top people to the Rudd team every other day.

  21. Timbo, yes I am interested that Janelle Saffin won pre-selection for Page.
    Chalk that up for another strong possibility for Labor. She very popular, well known and a woman of great integrity. She performed very well in the NSW Legislative Council.
    I had a conversation with an advertising heavy connected with political campaigning. He said the number one negative for Howard was his age.
    The pendulum would have swung to Hewson in 93 if he hadn’t had the GST. Ten years of one government is usually enough. 11 and a half years is more than enough, particularly with an old stale team.
    There should have been a leadership handover last year to Costello (or whoever) to allow the new leader to choose a new team and new direction.
    I think it is likely that there will be one before the election now. It would be interesting to see what odds the bookmakers would give on it.

  22. Some people point out that union membership is very low in Australia. Then why is it that IR seems to be the big vote winner for the ALP? I believe it is mainly an electorate that is tired of Howard and i believe that this is shown by the ALPs choice of a Lib type ant union leader. Any leader that was more progressive would be struggling in the polls. But the ALP seems to like selling conservatism as the way to go. I can see more industrial action under Rudd if he wins as progressive unions will not lie down and take anti worker policies from him. That is why the ALP wants to water down workers rights to the point of what i would only expect from the Libs

  23. Work Choices is a big winner because it is about EMPLOYMENT relations not INDUSTRIAL relations. Most Australians are not members of unions, but most Australians understand that there are bad bosses in the same way that there are bad employees. But bad bosses can treat you much worse than a bad employee will act.

    People expect that the young will be looked after, but the evidence shows that the young are exploited badly under Work Choices. Older stronger more educated workers ordinarily have less to fear but the younger, the weaker do and this goes against Australians’ ideas of the Fair GO.

    Although people have many negative views of unions, I think most people would believe that they will look after their members, workers.

  24. Bill Weller in one of his rants above said inter alia: “there will be no social revolution under Labor. … Homosexuality will still have little rights.” I presume by “homosexuality” he means gay men and lesbians. In fact Labor is committed to the same policy it had in 2004, which is to remove all discrimination against gay men and lesbians, with the single exception of the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act. I saw that policy reconfirmed by Tanya Plibersek last week. Anyway it is not true to say that gay men and lesbians have “little rights” even now. As a gay man I can tell him that there are in practice very few rights which gay men and lesbians don’t have – thanks of course to state Labor governments which have passed various bills over the past decade removing legal discrimination.

  25. Cynic? Moi

    And the Australian Labor Party just wants to help? ROFLMAO

    Yes I am from the government and I am here to help! You have to get out more Adam if you really believe that.

  26. My prediction is 56/44. Acnielsen’s TPP result can be a little unpredictable though due to how they allocate preferences. I don’t expect any primary vote movements outside the margin of error. (Although there was a lot of negative news for the government between Thursday and Saturday when the poll was taken)

    Pseph: The Age usually updates first. Usually isnt untill around 12-12.30 though.

  27. “exhales”

    Ok, thats better, now I understand whats probably happening….

    Rudd looks set to win but Howard will probably make it over the line and get the polka hat.

    Work choices and Climate change are the main doobies, except that Howard will release a big climate change “dosumthing” later on. (Costing about5biullion over 10 years) and that will sort that out. Work choices will be huge except that come Nov everybody will be bored of hearing about it by then.

    Gov will beat shit out of evry/any body that looks like they might be worth a hit and Rudd will try to preempt this by drivebying them first.

    Simple stuff


  28. If Howard is to be replaced it needs to be done quickly. I doubt it would stop a defeat but it would prevent a rout.

  29. I wont believe a Labor will win until I see the Fat Lady getting into her taxi, pay cheque in hand.

    Howard and Co are trying their harderst to make a Terrorims Fear card out of the current issue of Haneef.

    Ruddock trotts out regularly with up dates – the police role.
    Howard going on about Terrorism.
    Downer re-issuing the warning level for Indonesia.
    The Australian in the previous week running a plethora of Terrorism stories
    Haneef gets charge with ‘reckelessly’ giving his old sim card to a second cousin.
    WA house get raided and Ruddock again intends to keep giving updates in place of the police and, drag it all out as long as possible..
    And so on.

    Seen it all before from this govt which seems to have no morals remaining: –

    Tampa put up job, Baby Overboard lying, Hick’s indefinite incarceration, Habib’s torture, AWB bribery without accountability of Minister, character assasination of Justice Kirby on faked documents under parliamentary privilidge, Manildra coincidences, Cash for visas, incarceration and deportation of Australians, using refugess, xenophobia and intolerance, slaging off at Asian immigration and so on.

    Thus making mileage out of Haneef would be second nature to them – lets see where they try and take it, lets see how brazen they will be in inventing or misconstruing information and so forth.

  30. Oh no, I can see Shanahan’s headline now:


    … No, it isn’t meant to make any sense

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