Newspoll: 55-45

Details at 11. Thanks as always to the Poll Bludger’s eastern states army of fast-typing Lateline watchers.

UPDATE: That’s Labor on 56, I should stress. In case you were wondering.

UPDATE 2: The Australian reports that Labor’s primary vote is down one point and the Coalition’s up one, to 47 per cent and 40 per cent. Rudd’s preferred leader rating has widened from 43-42 to 43-40. Respondents were asked how a Peter Costello leadership would affect their vote – 22 per cent said it would make them much less likely to vote Coalition and 7 per cent somewhat less likely, with only 8 per cent saying more likely.

UPDATE 3: Note the new headline. I’m sure this isn’t the first time Lateline’s scoop Newspoll figures differed slightly from what was then published.

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.

557 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. Amber Dekstris

    Sorry, that information about income tax is incorrect.

    The Commonwealth did not get the power to impose income tax by having it ceded by the States. The Commonwealth _always_ had the power to impose income tax under section 51(ii) of the Constitution, and the Commonwealth was imposing its own income tax concurrently with State income taxes well before the Second World War.

    What happened during the war was that the Commonwealth introduced a package of four new pieces of legislation, only one of which (deliberately) was based on wartime powers.

    The first part was increasing Commonwealth income tax to a level which basically equalled the total of Commonwealth and State income taxes as they then were. This was Constitutional under the taxing power. It didn’t stop the States continuing to impose their own income taxes on top of the increased Commonwealth tax, but if they did there would be an obvious political and economic problem in terms of people having to pay excessive rates of tax.

    The second part gave payment of Commonwealth income tax priority over payment of any State income tax. This was Constitutional on the section 109 principle that valid Commonwealth law always overrides State law where they conflict, but it meant that any States that tried to continue to collect their own income taxes would have to do so from people who had already been tapped for the increased Commonwealth tax, with the obvious difficulties that implies.

    The third part said that the Commonwealth would make compensatory grants to any States that did _not_ collect their own income taxes. This was the carrot for the States to drop their income taxes and make the whole package sufficiently politically acceptable, and was Constitutional under the section 96 power to make conditional grants to the States.

    The fourth part transferred control of the State government departments that were responsible for collecting income taxes to the Commonwealth. This was the only part of the package that was Constitutionally justified as a necessary war-time measure under the Commonwealth’s defence power. This reinforced the immediate pressure on the States to give up collecting income tax. However, the other three parts of the package did not depend on the defence power and thus continued to be valid after the war.

    Incidentally, none of this means that the States have lost the _Constitutional_ power to collect income taxes. They haven’t. The States still have that power. They don’t collect income taxes for political and economic reasons, not for constitutional or legal ones.

  2. I’m not a Victorian, but Brumby would be my pick to succeed Bracks.
    As for John Winston Howard, the only way you’ll get him out of Kirribilli House is in a box, and Janette so loves playing lady of the manor.

  3. Steven Kaye, I don’t know if you were being serious or not … but the Federal Government handed Victoria a contract with BLANK PAGES in it and said “sign it and we’ll fill in the gaps later”. BLANK PAGES!!!!

    I personally have not heard of such incompetence since Whitlam tried to borrow $2billion off a guy in an alleyway. It would have been a scandal of the highest order if the Victorian government had signed that thing. SA and NSW should be ashamed, and shows just how desperately they have screwed up.

  4. Bracks always came across as a Steven Bradbury sort of politician in 1999 – “what do you mean we won?” Since then he has done his damnedest to put Vic interests above all others. The water debate and the ceding of operational controls from Vic cut right to the heart of Victorian farming and irrigation interests. That he held his nerve over immense pressure will go down as the second best thing he has achieved in his time. The first was sending Jeff to the Hawthorn FC 🙂

  5. Thank you J-D for your excellent and knowledgable explanation. It is people like you that make this site almost compulsury reading.

  6. Unlike Howard, Bracks will leave voluntarily, having become the 2nd longest serving Premier, and put Labor in complete electoral dominance in Vic. IMO, his greatest achievement was the reforms to the Upper House; they have cost Labor absolute control, but have made Parliament much more accountable than previously. Before 2002, when Libs held govt, they were able to ram anything through; when Labor held govt, Libs were able to block anything. That’s why the great Labor landslide of 30 Nov 2002 will be long cherished in my memory as the day Labor broke the Lib control of the Upper House by winning 17 of 22 Upper House electorates contested.

  7. Bracks’ decision is a bit of surprise, but it’s always better to go when the audience is still there, rather than after everyone has switched off.

    Bracks’s move underlines what a poor decision Howard made last year, when he had the chance to go out a hero. Of course, it looked good for him at the time, but in retrospect, he was at the height of his status, and as such the only way from there is down. With Bracks going, and Beattie hinting that he will do so soon, Howard is starting to look like that guy at your party, who you’ve never really liked that much anyway, staying long after the party has peaked and most people have gone home.

  8. If Costello spits the dummy post election (assuming being in opposition) – would Jeff Kennett in Canberra be a good tactical move for the Libs? Higgins or Kooyong could be made available? High profile, man of action – seems like a good idea to me.

  9. [However, as in cricket, pollies have a use-by date]

    EXACTLY, this is something Howard hasn’t realised. Howard has started to believe his own hype, and it could cost him an election.

  10. Lord D

    You are repeating the line in the online Age and the Oz that Bracksie will the second longest serving Victorian premier – both Rupert Hamer 1972 – 81 and John Cain (early 82 – August 90) were there longer. Adam, was Albert Dunstan there longer as well?

  11. J-D, thanks for your version, the one I posted was just something I found. “Never believe what you read on the Internet” 🙂

    Bracks’ retirement is interesting. Certainly throws Howard’s retirement situation into sharp relief.

  12. Dunstan was premier April 1935 to September 1943 and September 1943 to October 1945. I’m a bit too stunned and upset to do calculations today. I hope Nick Bracks is pleased with himself, the little shit. He has single-handedly brought down one of the most principled, most honourable and most likeable politicians it has ever been my privilege to meet.

  13. Labor’s primary vote is now 48% (up 0.5% since the last telephone Morgan Poll), L-NP 35% (down 2.5%), Greens 9.5% (up 0.5%) and Independent/Others 7.5% (up 1.5%). On a two-party preferred basis: ALP 59%, LNP 41%.

  14. Why does Morgan keep on referring to the UK and John Major when it is a first past the post sytem and voting is not compulsory. I would have thought thses factors would be very important in any result.

  15. Interesting day!!

    I’m not surprised although I would have expected this to have happened next year sometime.

    John Brumby has proven to have been a very Professional and clearly stand out performer of the Government, we can debate the performance of Bracks but he Will be remembered has a steady solid Premier.

    I don’t think there will have any Federal implications, although a by-election in Williamstown a very safe ALP seat will be interesting, while no clear choices come to mind I wonder in the Liberal Party will show up, risking the result being all about Federal issues.

    People ask about Kennett going to federal politics, I would like him in Kooyong leaving Costello in Higgins, it is interesting that Bracks has walked while in strong shape.

    While I feel Brumby will do a good job, I suspect the next Election will be a lot closer for one of Bracks strengths was his links with Rural areas, while Brumby has similar links when leader he didn’t have the same sort of support that Bracks obtained.

    I give Bracks a 6/10 for he was able to maintain a balanced budget and to a certain point delivered on his commitments to Rural Victoria, I mark him down for not addressing the problems with Public Transport, Melbourne 2030 and a general failure to tackle Water.

  16. Bracks’ decision to quit has a lot to do with his appalling mishandling of the Murray-Darling issue. The way he allowed himself to be used by Rudd when all his colleagues were doing the right thing and signing up, then his flip-flopping, and finally his humiliation when the PM simply bypassed him and exerted Commonwealth control – his position just became untenable. Again, good riddance to bad rubbish.

    And to those mewling about federalism – I think the states should be abolished.

    And John Howard will retire as PM sometime soon after March 2009 – you read it here first.

  17. There will be plenty more opinion polls between now and election day, Gary. No need to worry yet, the team is well ahead of JWH. I know many people, including most of my family and friends, who have little or no interest in politics, so I guess it is not surprising that some people refuse to answer questions from opinion pollsters. I suspect they think the pollsters are like those pesky telemarketers who call around dinner time . The irony, of course, is that it those people who decide election outcomes.

  18. Gary Bruce Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    “With only 560 odd respondents I’m not confident about Morgan’s findings I must say.”

    That’s true Gary, the sample is small, but that figure of 48 for the ALP’s primary vote just keeps being reported.

  19. Second uniform tax case, Victoria v Commonwealth (1957) 99 CLR 575 had the High Court holding (unanimously) that the provision of Federal law that mean the State would lose its grant from the Federal Government if it imposed its own income tax. A majority rejected the validity of legislation that required tax payers to pay Federal tax before State taxes.

    The grant provision was later repealed in 1959.

    The argument is really between the inefficiency and stupidity of the duplication of work with vertical fiscal imbalance, best illustrated from my short term memory by Julie Bishops decision to get into the class room for pathetic political purposes (she’d have no leverage to without vertical fiscal imbalance) and the efficiency of only having to do one tax return each year. Could you imagine corporate groups having to do a tax return for each sub in each State (OH WAIT THAT WOULD BE GREAT FOR ME … CAN WE HAVE THIS PLEASE).

  20. I think Mr Howard should run on aboloshing the States .. that will run beautifully in WA and Qld for PM Rudd.

  21. In some respects, only polling the interested is not such a bad theory. We know there are lots of pitfalls in polling in general, and not getting to the people who will be voting but aren’t interested in being bothered by pollsters (or anybody else for that matter) is one of them. The balance would be, IMHO, that its equally parts ‘not interested’ and ‘already made up my mind’. However, for me, the point with such a thesis is that the publication of polling results sets the trend in public commentary that reinforces peoples perceptions coming into the election about who’s a winner and who’s a loser – and you need real cut-through to change that (or a disaster of an opposition).

    Again, my concern with such polls is the marked disparity in polled minor party/independent votes, which could be crucial in close seats and the Senate. Newspoll has the Greens on 4%, Morgan on 9.5%…then again, a 2PP of 59-41 makes you smart even on a small poll sample of 572.

  22. Aristotle, I actually believe, given all of the polls, Labor presently has a primary vote of around 47% and the coalition around 40%. I don’t really think that can be disputed at this stage, although some want to dismiss the polls altogether because they don’t provide the results they like.

  23. As I have said previously, the Haneef affair was going to affect the govt’s ratings more the longer it went. This poll gives some evidence to support that thesis, with the govt down 2.5 to 35% primary. Newspoll was taken last Fri-Sun, when Haneef probably hadn’t made an impact and focus was on Howard vs Costello.

  24. David, good question. I’m sorry to see them both go. I think Brumby will do a good job though. The trouble is when a winning combination is disturbed problems can arise. I”m not sure whether some controversial matters of recent times have had anything to do with it. For example Bracks has had this Tabcorp (I think that’s what it is called) thing hanging over his head and Thwaites has been accused of using public money for personal trips. More than likely though it’s just that they’ve had enough and it’s time to go. Unlike someone else I could name, they’ve had the good sense to leave at the right time. Pity though.

  25. Thanks Gary for sharing your thoughts on the state of play in the good State of Victoria, and I agree with your sentiment about the “someone else”, although I am wondering how much responsibility Janette takes in what I regarded at the time, and still regard, as an incorrect decision.

  26. Yes, Gary I think those figures (47/40) are around the mark.

    I posted this summary when Newspoll was released on Tuesday.
    (seems like a month ago now)

    Last 7 polls ALP 48 Coalition 38.8 Others 13.2

    Last 14 polls ALP 47.7 Coalition 38.9 Others 13.4

  27. “…. have a look at the crabby behaviour of Alexander Downer and Tony Abbott, they’re not very happy chaps.”
    Spot on Aristotle. I thought it was just me but these blokes are behaving like dead men walking. Some of Abbott’s statements have been bizarre.

  28. jasmine_Anadyr Says:

    July 27th, 2007 at 11:49 am
    *Bites her tongue*

    Strop bites his harder. Laughin: soooo tempting isnt it to take the bait.

  29. One thing I don’t understand is why when Australian leaders quit, do they exit in such a hurry? The Vic Labor party now has just 2 full days to find a replacement (granted, Brumby is waiting in the wings anyway). But it was the same story when Latham quit, when Carr quit, they give their poor caucaus no time to properly assess alternatives such is the desperation to fill the void. Why not quit like Blair and give your notice months out? Give your potential successor’s sufficient time to jockey for position.

  30. Cant beleive Bracks has pulled the pin- a bit kinda sudden and unexpected wasnt it ? Did you get any hints of his departure in Victoria. We can speculate as to the how and why (his “little shit” son didn’t help much).

    My impression of Bracks is similar to my views on Tony Blair in the UK. Sure, you may have strongly different views to the guy on important issues, but you walk away seriously beleiving the guy is fair dinkum about his beleifs and has a heart for the people he is trying hard to work for, the average punter in suburbia.

    It is a sad day for Labor, true, but I think also a sad day for Australian politics without him. Good for you Bracksie- you played a good game mate.

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