The night before Newspoll

In an effort to keep the previous thread at least partly on topic, I hereby open a new one for purposes of general chatter. Perhaps you might like to take a shot at guessing Tuesday’s Newspoll result, which seems to be an increasingly popular parlour game among the leisured classes. Ever so much water has passed under the bridge since the 56-44 result of last fortnight: an interest rate increase, a new round of Liberal leadership tension and last week’s stock market dive. Newspoll is conducted from Friday through to Sunday, so Kevin Rudd’s New York misadventure is unlikely to be much of a factor.

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.

415 comments on “The night before Newspoll”

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  1. It surprises me to, as this is in the wake of the interest rate rise, Howard denying the promise to keep rates at record lows, and the Costello “Water’s edge” stuff.

    Still, with margin of error, a flatline like this for such a sustained period won’t be turned around unless something really drastic occurs.

  2. Simon – no mention of when the polling was done. Just a brief mention of the numbers in the middle of a general piece that mostly focussed on That Evening four years ago.

    However as others have pointed out, it’s probably safe to assume that some of it was done on Sunday.

    Next poll cycle will maybe tell somewhat of a tale.

  3. Gee now I am dissapointed. ;/
    The build up was some more of the same or even better.
    Hmm. Oh well with Morgans 58.5 and this 55/45 means the Labor vote
    is getting fairly rusted on. The longer it stays up the more rust.

  4. Glen #349.

    You’re right, Glen, I didn’t notice that. It is a big lead. However Lateline pointed out the slump even in this measure. There is no sign of Howard getting any kind of momentum, the 1% change notwithstanding.

    All that remains is to wait and see if he cries on election night, like Malcolm did.

  5. Well, that “all important” preferred PM poll looks very good for Rudd. That means there could a rise in Labors vote next time doesn’t? Wasn’t that Shanahan’s argument?

  6. I think the interest rate rise will kick in next time. Of course that is just as likely as this Rudd issue kicking in next time or the budget for that matter.

  7. They are closing the gap on economic manager, Rudd is even more preferred as PM.

    The 10% gap will be neccessary once the campaign proper starts.

  8. Hoots thanks for the reminder HAHAHAHAHAH ‘Malcolm no pants’ cried when he lost the 83 election what a loser i mean he’s the one that called the DD election in the first place…

    Hoots Howard wont cry on election night if he loses he’ll tell the nation how he helped bring it back on its feet and that the ALP have to be careful not to compromise all that was gained during those 11-12 years in power…

  9. The problem for the coalition is their primary vote. It hasn’t moved for months. Labor’s primary vote can move up a couple of points or down a couple of points but this has little effect overall if the coalition vote is going nowhere.

  10. There seems to be a pattern of a few percent coming off ALP, going to minor parties, but returning to ALP on preferences, with perhaps a percent leakage to the Coalition.

    It will be interesting in a fortnight if that goes back over to ALP, which will be reported as an increase in primaries, but a static 2pp.

  11. Hmm, with so much flailing around by the govt the last two weeks I really expected some drift into the high fifties for the Labor TPP. But it’s all just margin of error stuff. It looks like that 55/45 is very firm, people are set in their views already. A 53/47 election outcome would be my bet from here. And that’ll do nicely. Night all.

  12. [Hoots Howard wont cry on election night if he loses he’ll tell the nation how he helped bring it back on its feet]

    Brought it back from 4% growth, 3% inflation, 6.5% interest rates?

  13. wonder how shannahan will spin this one. last time, with a shift 1% ALP’s way it was “maintains lead”, now with a 1% the other way, it will be “comeback, closing the gap” Ultimately 1 % is in the margin of error.
    The real story is “Howard slips on economy and preferred PM”. Since the Australian made such an issue about the importance of preferred PM when Howard got within 1%, what are they going to say now the gap is back to 7%??

  14. [wonder how shannahan will spin this one.]

    He will just emphasise that most of the polling was done before the Rudd story had broken, and he will speculate that this could be the last good poll for Rudd before that event is factored in.

  15. Labor has survived the $37 million ad campaign from the government. A significant drop in the “best manager” poll shows the interest rate issue has had some effect. Of course this best manager stuff has had little to do with who people say they would vote for at this stage.

  16. Mensheviks! They should storm out of the studio and assign themselves to the dustbin (of the dustbin) of history.
    55-45: primary tells more, but its looking locked in.
    46% preffered PM, I assume this is minimum primary for ALP.

    (special Glen segment)
    Lets start spinning! 53% of Australians dissilusioned with Howard’s economic management, begin to flock to Rudd!
    55-45, notwithstanding the usual newspoll “wackiness”, this poll shown the ALP primary on 56%, and the LNP on a poultry 15%. TPP 70-30.
    It seems the electorate has warmed to a politician who actually asserts he is human, with “swinging” voters flocking to the ALP as it ‘poll dances’ to an election which looks increasingly likely to ‘strip’ the conservatives of the treasury benches.
    Just in case Shanahan has sent off his donation to the ALP, and a very long apology.

  17. If shanahan does argue the case put by Simon I think he will be very disappointed. I really don’t believe it will swing too many votes.

  18. Doesn’t look like the advertising by the business community has done any good. Big Business and Government are running out of time and out of ammunition. Not sure there’s much else they can throw at Rudd so you’d have to think it’s unlikely the government numbers will improve very much between now and the election.

  19. Newspoll is about what one would expect. Ten and a half weeks to go.
    John Howard and his crew will need to find a lot more mud to throw to close that gap. It has hardly moved. Six months ago John Howard would have expected to be level pegging by now. His shoulder will be doing a lot more jumping up and down. It’s still trending to about 52.5% ALP to 47.5% Coalition.
    His nationalist push will hardly appeal to average voters. It’s all too abstract. It’s the bread and butter issues that really count.
    One needs to bear in mind that this latest poll comes in the face of a blizzard of anti-ALP advertising by big business and the Government.

    I got a message from Canberra saying Barbara is old news, what about Pru?

  20. Come to think about it, a 55-45 for the ALP, in the wake of a continuing Orwellian advertising campaign about EVERYTHING the government thinks will give it a few votes, is a telling sign.
    It’s an ad a minute from this bunch, picked clean from our own wallets to convince us to reelect a government that has trampled on every element of accountability it can stamp out, and of course written a library worth of very poor legislation.
    This tactic with the states is a trap for Howard, set by Rudd at the outset. In his desperate attempt to find a rabbit in that overused porkbarrelling, dog whistling, smear and fear campaigning ‘hat’, he has failed to realise that HE is the rabbit, and he’s just walked into the headlights.
    How would WA, a state that has tried to secede from the commonwealth TWICE, take to a parochial, centralist PM bent on destroying the Federation for political gain.
    I think in trying to gain popularity by taking on the states, he is not only losing against more popular Premiers, but is unnerving what was his one strong state, WA, as well as Qld, SA, NT and Tas to a degree.

  21. All Howard has to do is make up 3 points and we’ve got a ball game…

    If it gets to 48-52 its on…at the moment its touch and go ive always said Howard would be a goner at anything above or near 55-45 heading into the election campaign anything lower and i wouldnt put it past him to win the campaign…after all Howard has done this 5 times before and Rudd’s never managed an election campaign as leader of a party…

    Frank dont worry about typos we all do them…its a shame some people like making political points out of telling people they cant spell trust me it is lame and i make some typos now and then…

  22. glen give it up, howard has not caught up for months, where do you imagine the 3 % gain before the campaign to come from???
    gotta love your optimism though

  23. Andrew,

    They still haven’t released their dirt on Julia G yet. Maybe they’ve got some pics of her with a lesbian or in a threesome or something which they think will kill Labor’s vote with all the church goers. Expect some more dirt but I don’t think it will work.

  24. I think its high time we saw ALP offsiders like Swan, Tanner and Gillard (leave Rudd out for now) add the following repeat ad nauseum talking point:

    “I think people are tired of watchng the government re-election ads, and tired of paying for them”

    “people are tired of the government forcing taxpayers to fund their own re-election ads”


  25. Look Andrew if the ALP were 10 points down im sure you wouldnt give up and say f&^k it we’re going to lose its pointless the world will fall in no!

    I’m hoping the Coalition can get to 53-47 with the next newspoll thanks to strippergate but then Howard has to start bringing out some policies to counter Rudd if he doesnt do it soon he risks leaving his push too late to make up enough ground to try and hold on…

    Look let’s face it one side is going to be shattered by the result of the election let’s just take solace in the fact that so long as we live to our 80s we should see our own side in Government for at least half of that time…always look on the bright side of life!

  26. I agree, Rudd has to be careful of over-exposure at this time.

    Bring all the others into the light – Swan, Tanner, Gillard and Garett – even McKew was very impressive on SBS the other night, would be good if they could get her on doing something as well.

  27. Glen, take solace in these figures

    Newspoll TPP Labor last 5 months – 56, 56, 55, 56, 55

    Newspoll Labor primary last 5 months – 46, 48, 47, 48, 46

    Newspoll Coalition primary last 5 months – 39, 39, 40, 39, 39

    Things to notice – nothing. No movement in 5 months.

    We are now approaching September. Howard needs a rabbit and fast.

  28. Very philosophical Glen. Of course you’re right.
    When a friend of mine was dying in 1996, he was visited by former Premier Neville Wran who said “John Howard will be in for at least two terms”. This friend said “I’m glad I’m dying”.
    It’s very likely the government will change this time, if not this time even more likely the next.
    Frankly whatever the result, I for one won’t be shattered. I’ll just get on with life. The main reason being that I don’t vote for either side, except by preferences. For me, at least, there is too little difference on the issues I care about. I have worked with both Coalition and Labor governments for seven and eight years respectively and there’s not a giant difference, whch is a pity.

  29. Can you imagine if Glenn alluded to this in his story.

    [But this I can: On July 2, a 45-year-old Seattle man died from something called acute peritonitis. His colon was perforated while he was having sex with a horse.

    The man, who died before he was dropped off at Enumclaw Community Hospital, was traced back to a 40-acre farm where investigators found hundreds of hours of videotape depicting men, including the one who died, having sex with horses. He had bought the stallion earlier this year. His family told a reporter they were surprised at the purchase.]

  30. Couldn’t agree with you more Grooski…but what Howard needs is some good policy out there something on housing especially to counter Rudd’s policy…As you all have pointed out and i agree with you the voting intentions have flat-lined for both sides i wonder if closer to the election we’ll see some more volatility…

    Paul “Also, you’ll probably still control the Senate so the Libs may still be a force for some time to come.”

    That’s hard to say Paul if we lost whether we’d still have the Senate…it could spark a DD if Rudd couldnt get anything through like “Fair Work Australia”…that would be dangerous if he didnt have a wide electoral margin…

    If Rudd is going to win he’s going to have to convince Australia’s he has a ‘team’ ready to take over and run the country…Howard has if he wants to stay in power target the ALP’s inexperienced front bench…Fitzgibbon, McClelland, Roxon, Burke, Garrett et al and that they’d be a risk to putting so many inexperienced people into positions of power especially Rudd’s inexperience if anything will hurt him whether it will be a killer blow i dont know if people want change they’ll take what they can get…

  31. Sorry I just don’t accept the inexperience argument. There’s plenty of experienced politicians around the world who are destroying their nations. I lived for a while in the USA where they have term limits and new blood is considered to be positive and not a negative. There lots of important aspects to leadership not just experience.

  32. Yes but Paul…Clinton and Bush Jnr were both Governors of States before being the President of the USA i would consider that leadership experience…Kevin Rudd has only led the ALP for 10 months or so thats why i think the inexperience card will hurt as it did with Latham…it would not have been an issue had Big Kim stayed on though Paul…

  33. I agree Paul K. There’s overexperience. Barack Obama is relatively inexperienced and yet polling well in the race to the White House. He pointed out the Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney were very experienced.
    blood, new ideas, fresh thinking are what’s needed.
    If the Coalition does lose, there will need to be some real soul-searching in the Liberal Party about where to now.

  34. Grooski

    {Howard needs a rabbit and fast.}

    I think the silly old bugger forgot to fee the damn thing and it has unfortunately, met it’s demise.

    Just like the Rodent will come November.

    Rabbits are Rodents too, you know.

  35. A magical thing happens after you win an election. Encumbancy makes you look more reliable and competent without even having to open your mouth. What seems inexperienced now will quite quickly seem experienced.

    And especially outside of an election atmosphere the langauge can loosen up and more relaxed. At the moment everyone is tight-lipped, ultra-cautious not wanting to be wedged or provide any points of attack.

  36. Hey people, it would be great if the blog contained more exchanges like those in #384 to #390 (forgetting #389 heh heh). I am following the elections from here in France so when the exchanges are at a more serious level, it gives me a better feel of how people are thinking on all sides.

  37. Yes, a Mugabe style one-party state is ultimately the only solution if you regard the ‘experience’ issue as the paramount consideration.

  38. .
    I just don’t think the Australian people are buying the ‘experienced’ argument. If you really did then you’re really arguing for a one party state, where which ever party has the most experience stays in forever. Times change and people change and the people want a change of government. They’re simply not listening to the ‘experienced’ argument anymore.

  39. Lefty i would not feel happy if my party was being led into an election with a bloke whose been a leader for less than one year…thats me and you may feel differently but i think experience matters…John Howard had to lose an election before becoming PM and he then went on to win 4 more…William McMahon faced one election and lost after being in power for about a year and a bit…Whitlam lost an election in 69 but went on to win 2…and so on…look what i dont think is good is having one party in charge everywhere in Australia…i wouldnt want everything Liberal and you shouldnt want everything Labor…but we’ll soon find out what we’ll get in November

  40. Paul all i ask is that a leader be elected after leading his party for more than 2 years at the minimum if not facing and losing an election that’s experience…and like it or lump it Big Kim had experience…i’d feel better if Kim won the election if it was to be Labor than Kev because Kim’s got experience…

    I dont argue for a one party state and ive said repeatedly that id favour Howard having 1 more term and then Rudd to win easily in 2010 when he’d clearly have enough experience…but we’ll see

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