Newspoll: 56-44

Lateline reports tomorrow’s Newspoll has Labor’s lead widening to 56-44 from 55-45 last fortnight. Similarly, Kevin Rudd is up 1 per cent as preferred leader (to 44 per cent), and John Howard down 1 per cent (to 39 per cent). Thanks as always to the commenters who passed this on. More to follow as news comes to hand.

UPDATE: News reports the primary vote too has switched 1 per cent either way, with Labor up to 48 per cent and the Coalition down to 39 per cent. Interestingly, there was an 8 per cent narrowing on the question of which party was better for handling national security, despite 49 per cent support for the government’s handling of the Haneef case.

UPDATE 2: Report by Dennis Shanahan in The Australian.

UPDATE 3: The Australian’s graphic here.

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.

457 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

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  1. All the Libs are completlel behind the PM and proclaiming enduring love and loyalty.

    Howard is in deep trouble!

  2. Now we have a good idea why that document was released. What’s the betting the leaker had the inside information on this poll?
    My bet is that it came from a Coalition source who wants to oust Howard and have a chance of winning the election.
    Maybe the person who bet $100,000 on the ALP winning also knew!
    It’s all over for John Howard winning the election.
    It would be almost impossible to claw back from here, especially with the damaging leak and its headlines and the strong possibility of an interest rate increase.
    By the end of the week the polls will show the ALP at 57% and the Coalition at 43% with John Howard and leader.
    Does Peter Costello have the ticker? If not will Malcolm Turnbull make the move instead.
    Whoever makes the move wins.

  3. How do people think the australian will report the poll?

    Will they go so far as to suggest it puts pressure on Howard to step down?

    I don’t think so – but they have been less supportive of late.

  4. I think we can expect more of this trend away from the coalition. Howard has had more than a few shocking days and his tactics are looking increasingly transperant and desperate.

  5. With the increase in the gap for preferred prime minister, do you think that we will see Shanahan talking about this as the best indicator of who will win the election like he did last time.

    I suspect not.

  6. Well there’s the no bounce budget bribes and the Haneef brain explosion shown to be the political trainwrecks of the year. Bring on the interest rate rises and Printgate to put some icing on the cake.

  7. The Australian would be supportive of the Coalition winning government but not necessarily with John Howard leading it.
    They know now that it is almost impossible for the Coalition to win with John Howard there.
    They are almost certain, in my view, to question whether John Howard should stay as leader.
    They may use the David Barnett story and there may now be others.
    His position has become untenable.

  8. Hoots – you would think, given the shocking last few days – the poll would move back towards the ALP. One thing I have been surprised about is how unresponsive the poll have been all year. Apart from the drift in from the impossible 60/40 split – the polls have barely moved around their margin of error

    My guess is that a higher than usual proportion of voters are locked in and this make the polls very sticky

  9. more bad news for the government
    plus the poll on ninemsn

    Is John Howard past it as Prime Minister?
    yes 49,490
    no 41,597

    so say james

  10. ERm, as I said on previous megathread:

    No surprises there. Howard’s most realistic hope for several months now has been Rudd going under a bus.

    Self-references in third person, etc.

  11. I honestly thnk we could see the polls go back to the stratospheric 60 – 40 range before the election is called. There is a real feeling of the move away from Howard gaining momentum, and his tactics are really starting to smell of stale piss.

  12. PS Expect magic policies now, in the “ghost dance” phase of the Howard’s arse-dead campaign:

    Medicare Platinum Private!
    Forests chopped down AND preserved!
    0% loans to lib voters migrating from safe to marginal seats!

  13. Dear electorate,

    I know my polling situation is dire,

    Preferred PM is down too.

    Interst rise to follow.

    Have decided to blame Costello.


  14. It’s worth the scorn in this place. I had a point to prove.

    I said to my son earlier 2day that JWH will win. I’ll bet you I said.
    I’ve always been a gambler, by default I always lose. This bet is one I was hoping to “Dear God” I would lose and whoo-ahh, I did…

    Excellent, I’m layin $200 on the Coalition to win..

  15. This year is fun. Of course there are many problems and much work to do, climate change, housing affordability, bad infrastructure, education and health etc. but it is fun to watch little johnny slowly turning on the rotisserie.

    Reminds me of Keating’s comment to John Hewson Hewson: “Why don’t you call an early election?”,…. Keating: “the answer is mate, mate, because I want to do you slow…”

    for a bit of entertainment check these vids out….

    Johnny’s “great motion” prior to his 96 election victory over Keating:

    Keatings response to the “great motion” a devastating rip at the very fabric of the rodent. I miss those days!

  16. Albert F,

    I totally agree with your post, but I think the 55 – 45 range is starting to feel like the bedrock, with bounces back to 60 – 40 possible as the Hward corpe keeps getting riper.

    That said, I think the poll results will probably narrow as the election campaign progresses.

  17. My predcition:

    The Australian: Rudd gets no bounce out of Howard book revelations:

    Despite highly controversial comments made by the Treasurer, Newspoll has detected little movement away from Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister…

  18. I wonder if Steven is still up or perhaps quietly getting drunk?
    Steven, you do now realise it is all over for John Howard don’t you?
    If you want to have more than a mere rump in opposition, you had better do some heavy lobbying to replace him.
    Your best bet by far is Malcolm Turnbull.
    Peter Costello is the old guard and may just make the result worse.

  19. At 56-44 this brings Costello’s own seat of Higgins into play according to Adams guide on his website.

    I wonder if Bracks could be tempted to run against Costello?

  20. It’s quite obvious to even the casual observer that John Howard is steadily wearing down Kevin Rudd and is on track to gain the ascendancy 1-2 weeks out before polling day.

    This latest poll only confirms this orthodox view.

    John Howard is a master politician. When he calls the election everyone will sit up and take notice and start listening to John.

    All that stuff about being old, arrogant, tricky and losing will simply evaporate from the consciousness of the people who have put him consistently 10-12% behind in 2PP terms.

    Because John is the man of steal. Because George W said so.

    Polls are notoriously unrealiable anyway and from month to month they bounce around all over the place. All this negative stuff about Howard is just election year static.

    People really do like John Howard and really will vote for him, they just don’t want to admit it in confidential polling that’s all.

    So says me from the sideline before Cerdic & co. could.

    So there you have it. The truth and future truth handed down from above. No amount of chatter or evidence from polls or betting markets will change this because us Liberals know that people out there just wont vote for Kevid Rudd.

    When reality is smacking you in the face, delusion is a wonderful comfort.

  21. Hoots, I don’t think you can claim a trend away from the Coalition – at least not from recent Newspolls. As Bryan Palmer shows over at Oz Politics, there’s been a very small trend to the Coalition since March, both in Newspoll and in the aggregated published national polls. This latest Newspoll will have slowed that trend a bit but it still exists.

    However, the satisfying thing is that Howard has achieved no real bounce from any of the tricks he’s tried in the last couple of months. IMHO he’s well and truly finished. I’m amused that the MSM either can’t see it or don’t want to admit it.

  22. hmm i might be close to winning that wine pack, i think i got it pretty close.

    top poll for labor, should really put pressure on howard over the old and dishonest issue (the fact that the poll was conducted before it wont matter to the media)

  23. On poll results like this, Gillard will have to challenge Rudd for the leadership by week’s end, or the labor party faces extinction.

    If Gillard doesn’t have the ticker, or is too tainted by the association with Ruddism, then Garrett will have to step up.

  24. Hoots Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 11:01 pm
    “That said, I think the poll results will probably narrow as the election campaign progresses.”

    I am not so sure Hoots.These numbers have been very consistent for a long time.Possum Comitatus,Aristotle etc have shown that Howard lost a lot of voters after his budget in 2006,over 12 months ago,and nothing the government has done or is doing is having any effect.I think hatred of WorkChoices is at play.Once the government introduced that they lost me and most probably many others as well.

  25. Albert F Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Hoots – you would think, given the shocking last few days – the poll would move back towards the ALP. One thing I have been surprised about is how unresponsive the poll have been all year. Apart from the drift in from the impossible 60/40 split – the polls have barely moved around their margin of error

    The electorate made up its mind in February that it wanted Rudd to be good enough to win, and has spent the intervening time convincing itself that Rudd was in fact good enough. Howard has been most obliging.

  26. Oh, I’m here, and like all intelligent observers I don’t pay any attention to the 2PP figure, seeing as how it’s just a figure plucked from thin air by the pollsters. But just to reiterate: there is no way the electorate will vote out John Howard for Kevin Rudd, and when the dust is settled perhaps this country’s political commentators can finally start questioning their reliance on these idiotic polls.

  27. Will Turnbull sit on his hands and wait patiently for his turn or will he smell the taste of a (cheap) seat and go for the helm of the Leviathan ? No way.

    I think JWH will be left to walk the plank alone in November (early as possible to save a few seats from extinction if they are smart), leaving Turnbull to hope the 3-3 senate split expected by most across Australia holds up so he can get an early crack at the Rudd ster via a DD.

    Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in Cabinet when they discuss ‘strategy’ this week ? Turnbull will say absolutely nothing: smart man.

    56-44 and the interest rate hike most expect isn’t official till Wednesday: Im still tipping a .5 percent hike, not the .25 percent if they do go up. That front page caption in today’s Courier Mail which I am preserving as JWHs Obituary is worth more than $1.00 already.

  28. I think this poll is a real milestone in one sense: we can now conclusively state that the punters arent interested in anything the Rodent has to say. They just dont see him as a credible figure anymore.

    Indeed, this is now so bleedingly obvious, we’ll surely see fresh moves inside the Liberal Party to have him ousted.

    Hopefully, these will fail as no-one will be keen to step up at this point, and its just too late in the piece etc.

    We ALL want you to stay Rodent.

    Its certainly in the best interests of the party (that Im going to have round here on election night).

  29. Looks like the electorates chosen its horse and has become oblivious to Howard’s poll driven policy nightmares. The government has generated its own bad publicity by persuing an unplanned marginal seat agenda on the run, with no regard beyond the election, creating negative and rightly cynical coverage of his ‘initiatives’.
    Labor has focused on positive strategies to deal with concerns that are widespread, but have been denied and neglected by the current administration. A fair industrial relations system, affordable housing, effective climate change solutions, a sustainable defence strategy, sufficient investment in education, health, infrastructure and R&D, and an exit strategy for Iraq are just some of the positives the ALP has to counter liberal party fear campaigns.
    This is the scenario even without touching just a few of the worrying policies of the Howard government: nuclear power, unended Iraq commitment, IR agenda (WCmk2), reducing welfare benefits, and already further complicating the federation through its dogs breakfast approach to electioneering.

  30. Canberra Boy

    Yes, I think you’re right that there has been no trend to the ALP yet, but the 55-45 range seems almost rusted on. and I think media coverage is looking so terrible for Howard that a bounce back to the ALP is now more likely than the Liberals eating into what is starting to look like a remarkably solid support for Rudd.

  31. Perhaps Turnbull leaked the document to further destabilise Howard’s leadership, which will in turn lead to Turnbull being leader (as Costello is unelectable).

    This would be the beginning of getting back at Howard for “Breaking the nation’s heart” in 1999.

  32. You would have to think that they now have no choice and thats why we have this leak. They must have known the Newspoll and any other polling they do. Who will take the poison suicide challis?

    I can see none who would do any better than Howard and thats one of the problems of Howard’s govt.

    They have no choice but to make a choice of no choices.

  33. Yep Hoot it will be interesting if Howards efforts to find some sort of wedge become increasingly desperate (if they are not already there) and push the 2pp back out to 60/40.

    I think the govt has two options.

    1) Current course and hope they get enough small issues or one big one so that they have a handle on Rudd once the campain starts. The ALP seems to be very aware of this and are working very hard at avoiding the wedges.

    2) Damage control and change leader.

  34. Good to see you are on board Steven.
    I agree with you that the electorate won’t vote out John Howard, his own party will – before polling day.
    Liberals are not lemmings. Some MPs want to have jobs beyond polling day. They also know they have a chance, by changing the leadership, of at least retaining their jobs, if not staying in office.
    You have to remember that if too many Liberal and National Party MPs are voted out it will be that much harder to win next time.
    The Coalition members will ignore this poll at their peril.
    They will start to look like members of Light Brigade on its last charge.

  35. I know I shouldn’t provoke Steven Kaye, but it does rather strike me that the crazy opinion polls being relied upon by the media rather match the Liberal Party’s internal polling, as revealed in the newspapers this morning. Perhaps the Liberal Party is wasting its money as well, and should just listen to the true prophets in this channel who know what the real result will be later this year, and who obviously have a far better idea of how to win an election than Crosby-Textor.

  36. God I hope Howard doesn’t get rumbled prior to the poll. I honestly feel he needs to be done slowly. I feel that a big loss (or any loss really) will help to redeem Australia from the discraceful lowest-common-denominator politics that Howard has made his own over the last 11 years.

  37. Steven,

    On these figures you might be right.

    Howard may not get to the election in order to be voted out!

    Sad really

  38. Hoots I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a move back to Labor in the next few weeks. Equally, I would not be surprised to see the gap close a bit once the attack ads start in the formal campaign. We are going to see the most negative political advertising (by the Coalition) in Australia’s history.

  39. It won’t be no spill, just a knife between the shoulder blades!

    Downer made him, Downer will break the bad news.

  40. ‘Lib. crisis deepens-Mr. Conan summonsed to Kiribilli.” or “Cerdic called for crisis meeting” or “Textor resigns-Kaye focusses Party”.

    Or perhaps I’ll just get in first “smart arsed little wog kicked off site”

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