Newspoll: 59-41

I’m hearing it, but not quite yet believing it – Labor’s Newspoll lead has apparently widened to a breathtaking 59-41 (from 55-45 last time). Details to follow as they come to hand.

UPDATE: Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has increased from 46-39 to 48-37.

UPDATE 2: Comments thread rumours tell of a Labor primary vote of 51 per cent, against 37 per cent for the Coalition.

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.

659 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41”

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  1. Frankly, as a member of the ALP, and someone formerly intimate with student politics, I am sick of lefty crybabies taking blog postings so serious that they run off crying. Toughen up, for God’s sake.

  2. Glen: I think Gillard would do a fine job as leader of the ALP.

    As Howard has shown, its not that tough to be the Prime Minister. You get all the million dollar perks and you just blame everyone else for your own mistakes.

  3. Ruawake,

    I must have watched a different 7.30 Report to you. I got annoyed with Hockey because it seemed that every answer has the words “union bosses” in it somewhere.

  4. Get used it Rats, they will be banging on about union bosses every ten seconds till election day. It’s all they can think of, even though there is no evidence at all that the punters give a toss about it.

  5. Nostradamus will love it! The Libs are trailing Labor because of the “Do not call registry!”

    I can’t laugh too loud, as I will wake up my wife. But JESUS!

  6. [You are not going to believe this. After all that crap about bloggers not understanding newspoll, Shanahan has called the accuracy of newspoll into question. The man has no shame.]

    He raises the idea that young people only have mobiles, but he forgets that that demographic is showing a 10% swing to Labor. Does he think it is actually 15%? 😛

  7. [That’s why we need for hardline rightwingers in the ALP, like Mike Kelly.]

    Isn’t Labor the original broad church party. There has been a huge diversity of opinion housed in one party. I’m thinking of people like Peter Walsh and John Dawkins who came from Liberal backgrounds, but joined Labor in uni.

  8. [We know Newspoll is crap, cos we own it!]


    Here’s some Paul Kelly in today’s Oz.

    “Since his 1996 election, Howard has presided over a fall in unemployment from 8.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent. Such a result would have been inconceivable when Howard was first elected. Yet the inconceivable is now assumed. ”,25197,22364265-7583,00.html

    Why was it “inconceivable” that unemployment would fall? The reforms of the 1980s, and enterprise bargaining, killed off inflation. Is it that surprising that growth led to jobs?

    The trouble now is that the government has wasted billions trying to get re-elected, which is pushing on inflation.

  9. Good old Shannas a Saltwart till the end…

    What is puzzling is that our economy and nation has been going from strength to strength since Howard took office and i know the left winger say this is bull dust but consider the facts…Since 1996, Howard has presided over the creation of 2.2 million jobs, the decisive factor for prosperity and equity, low interest rates, low inflation and even the current national accounts released show an economy growing at 4.3 per cent over the year.

    In spite of all this Howard still faces annihilation….i can only say it is puzzling because William McMahon and Malcolm Fraser were not as far behind as Howard is at the moment 2PP and yet those two failures were still competitive in the polls until they were beaten.

    If Rudd does win and its looking more likely each day…he’ll have re-written the school books on how to win an election because…even if the economy is going well and even if an Opposition leader has been around for less than a year it is still possible to beat an 11 year incumbent Government…But as we say of all Governments that lose…the Opposition weren’t voted for the people voted against the Government…

  10. My contribution to Dennis “three wise monkeys” Shanahan

    Dennis Shanahan, you are shameless.

    This article would not have been written by you if the polls had the Coalition at 59%. It was only a couple of months ago that you made a big BIG deal of Howard closing in on Rudd’s preferred PM rating. No doubt about the polls then.

    It’s astounding. The day after a shock poll for the government the senior political journalist of the Australian responds by saying: “I can’t believe it; I won’t believe it!”

    What utter arrogance this is. Voters clearly have a different measure of good government to you, and it has little to do with official unemployment figures.

  11. The BBC international news is reporting that Bush has arrived in Australia for talks with John Howard and Kevin Rudd on Iraq. Equal billing for Rudd with Howard on the international news. Not bad.

  12. More Kelly:

    “Howard has decided that the only way the polls will turn is by calling the election.”

    Interesting, that means November 3 is most likely. There is an interest rate announcement on the 7th, so I think that rules the 10th out.

    But this is my favourite line in the article:
    “It is true that Rudd’s vote may be soft. ”

    Can I also add that it is true that Rudd’s vote may be hard?

    Also: “There may be a defect with polling methodology this year.”

    Can I also add there may not be a defect wtih polling methodology this year.

    WOW, and Kelly ends by suggesting Howard should resign if the party thinks it is going to lose:
    “But if the Liberal Party really believes the election is lost, then Howard must consider his responsibility as leader. He needs, at least, to re-examine his position and decide whether its logic remains valid.”

    Does this article count as an Opinion-Editorial, or is it an Opinion-Speculation? Has Kelly invented a new Op-Spec genre? Maybe, or maybe not. I don’t know.,25197,22364265-7583,00.html

  13. [In spite of all this Howard still faces annihilation…]

    Stop it Glen. You’re going to make my cry. Poor little Johnnie.Those horrible ungrateful Australian voters.

  14. Glen: You’ve summed it up in a nutshell.

    Howard is presiding over one of the best economies in Australia’s history, yet the polls aren’t even close. Howard looks to lose in an absolute avalanche.

    It takes someone of truly spectacular incompetency to take such a great advantage as a booming economy, and incumbency and be so far behind. All Howard had to do was look after a booming economy, yet his legacy will be inaction on critical infrastructure and reform, and abysmal foreign and domestic policy.

    The best run economy in the world will not save a corrupt, deceptive, decrepit government that has lost all morality, accountability and credibility.

    If you were a true Liberal supporter, you would remove the blindfold and critically analyse the Howard government’s time in power. It has been scandal after scandal full of broken promises and mismanagement.

    Time to stop sucking up to Howard as the messiah and start looking at ways to regain the public’s trust.

  15. Well Asanque your bias is quite evident in your post…but i would not expect you to think that Howard did anything right so ill leave it at that…i think it is a little rich for the Labor supporters to say we arent real Liberal supporters if we dont believe that the Howard years have been ‘spectacular incompetency’ if that is the case then i would hate to see your assessment of the Keating years…

  16. The trouble with you Glen is you equate anyone that doesn’t agree with your position as an ALP member. You are a paid Liberal member. I have not voted ALP in the last 2 elections (nor did I vote for Howard) and I’m definitely not an ALP member nor a contributor.

    I have previously challenged you to list Howard’s great accomplishments and you have failed to answer that challenge. It can’t be that tough can it?

    What other reasons can you dig up to explain exactly why Howard is so far behind with the economy going so well?

  17. [Dinsdale Piranha Says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 1:06 am
    Nostradamus will love it! The Libs are trailing Labor because of the “Do not call registry!”]

    But doesn’t Shamaham realise that Political Parties and Opinion Pollsters are EXEMPT from the Do Not Call Register.

    To use an Italian Swear word, he is a Testa Di Cazzo (Dickhead) 🙂

  18. I didnt say u were an ALP member asanque but you are a left winger…

    Howard has a lot to be happy about achieving in 11 years of Government…

    Gun Control
    East Timor
    GST – yes it was a good idea
    2.2 million new jobs
    Home loan interest rates have averaged 7.25% since March 1996.
    Paying Off Labor’s 96billion dollar debt thus 8b extra to spend on infrastructure
    Unemployment 4.4%
    Real wages increasing by 17.9%
    The Family Tax Benefit
    Defence funding at a record $19.6 billion in 2006-07.
    Workplace Reforms that have contributed to low unemployment thanks mainly to the removal of unfair dismissal laws.
    Commonwealth funding for the higher education sector in 2006 was $7.8 billion, up from $5.4 billion in 1996 (an increase of 21% in real terms).
    Tough Immigration laws and the halting of people smuggling
    The establishment of 28 Australian Technical Colleges
    Comm. Government spending on Health and Ageing $47.6 billion (06-07) a 139% increase since 1995-96
    National Action Plan on Mental Health
    Superannuation Reforms
    Solomon Island’s assistance mission
    Stronger ties with Asia…Indonesia and Japan as well as China.
    FTA with the USA and Singapore and other countries.
    Auslink National Land Transport Program and Roads to Recovery programs
    10b Murray-Darling River Plan
    Australian Government Water Fund
    Greater investment in Clean Coal Technology
    Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund
    Multi billion dollar Higher Education Endowment Fund and Health Fund
    Being a part of the ASEAN Regional Forum
    A stronger alliance with the United States of America
    Liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq from tyrannical regimes and ongoing commitment to freedom in the world and to fight global islamic fundamentalist terrorism
    Aboriginal intervention in Northern Territory

  19. Glen,

    You left out that before there was John Howard, the people had nothing. No water or food or electricity. We were all poor dumb peasants without a hope in the world. We should call him Saint John. Didn’t someone say he cured cancer as well?

  20. I merely am pointing out Paul that Howard has done a lot of good for our country over 11 years in office despite what you and your fellow Howard haters say…

    time for bed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  21. Red Wombat at post 525, I dips me lid to ya.

    This has gotta be the quote of the evening:

    “When ever you see Hockey try and defend Workchoices it’s like watching him eat a shit sandwich”


  22. Adam,

    No need to sate the bleeding obvious

    The point was that Ruawake said that the phrase “union bosses” was only mentioned once. I think he must have been involved in something rather important to miss the other “union bosses” spewed out by Mr Hockey.

    I have no choice but to “get use to it” but I will be buggered if I will like it.

    If it looks like dog shit, smells like dog shit, feels like dog shit and tastes like dog shit it must be dog shit and if people don’t like me calling it dog shit …tough.

    So for everyone benefit …….. IT IS DOG SHIT

  23. 366 Thank you Possum for informing us when the 3rd quarter Newspoll detail was due. The last one showed the significant movement of voting intention against the Coalition in the marginal seats (8-10%) and safe Coalition seats (10-14%). If memory serves, these results came from the April/June quarter when the ALP vote was at it’s highest but rough calculations indicate a drop of around 1-2% for this quarter. For me the interesting data is always where the swing is; state-wise and seat-wise.

    IMHO, the Coalition have a 3-fold problem with unemployment, WorkChoices and interest rates: firstly, 4.4% unemployment is an excellent result but is largely locked-in while the Boom is on, and has had an effect on the 3.2% who are now employed for the first-time in a long time or ever, since they either had to (due to social security reform) or have picked up relatively low paid jobs (including those in IT) – not as many in this position see this as a positive as the Gov’t would like (bludgers!) although the general populace do but are seeing the economy as indestructible (there is an interesting effect here where strong growth boosts confidence yet deepens insecurities due to possible inflationary pressures on interest rates);
    secondly, those in a job would generally like to keep their job – pay rises are good but job security is most important especially in an environment of rising interst rates and high personal debt;
    and finally we have interest rates themselves – this includes 30% with mortgages and many of the rest with credit cards, especially those who never pay them off – and the promises of the last election; one of my strong memories of these rises has been the PM and Treasurer repeatedly stating that they weren’t required and looking quite helpless and powerless when they came. This is the collective political memory that has come back to haunt them . . . . and there is nothing they can do about it.

    Most other issues aren’t primary because they don’t affect the hip-pocket nerve (will they dare offer tax cuts and risk the Reserve Bank raising rates in advance?) but the secondary issues add to the perception:
    my boss can’t believe he got away with going to war (this from a conservative war veteran!),
    my racing friends for the EI debachle,
    my empathic friends for the Pacific (final?!) Solution,
    and me for the fact that JWH is a lying rodent.
    All the little(!) things add up when the major issues push people away and can be used to justify changes of opinion/position.
    For myself, I thought when they got control of the Senate they’d do far more damage (yes, I know they’ve done a lot but I was expecting far worse!). Politically speaking, they really took their eyes off the ball.

    Oh! and I’m looking forward to seeing the new trend lines!

  24. ‘Rats

    I was wrong Joe Hockey said “union bosses” twice in the 7.30 rpt interview, he mentioned unions 16 times. (check the transcript)

    My point is that someone has whispered in his ear to drop the bosses line. 🙂

  25. Glen: You reached a new low last night! I thought you were a cut above Nostrodamus and Steven Kaye: obviously not!
    Ollie: don’t leave! We need you over here!
    Coalition marginal seat holders ought to be shitting themselves: if the polls are correct, they are goners.
    I can’t wait, it’s the Howard/Bush love in today.

  26. Glen:

    From your list:
    1. Gun Control – Good initiative
    2. East Timor – Also a positive
    3. Waterfront – be more specific
    4. GST – debateable and the implementation process was flawed. It has also failed to make good on the promise of a simpler tax system. The original GST before Democrat intervention was okay, afterwards, the system was a mess.
    5. What reforms did John Howard do to create these jobs?
    6. Howard does not control interest rates
    7. Selling assets to pay debts does not make good policy.
    8. Same as 5
    9. What reforms did Howard do to cause this?
    10. Inconsistent welfare policy
    11. Waste of money
    12. There is a reason it was called ‘unfair dismissal’.
    13. Eductation funding has been haphazard and is a known problem with the Howard government
    14. 28 failing technical colleges
    15. Election bribes
    16. Okay
    17. Keating started superannuation
    18. Okay
    19. Pre-emptive strikes. I also disagree with better Asian relationships, especially given John Howard’s xenophobia.
    20. A flawed FTA with the US where Australia lost out
    21. Pork barreling extraordinare
    22. No consultation with anyone and due in High Court
    23. Too little too late
    24-25. Extremely poor environment record
    26. Another fund and no fixing of infrastructure
    27. Really?
    28. At the expense of our international prestige with a lame duck president.
    29. Absolute unmitigated disaster
    30. Ignore a problem for 10 years and then use it as an election stunt.

    I’ll give you 3/30 Glen.
    What is notable is the key elements I raise before. Lack of infrastructure and economic reform. Howard’s 11 years will be known as the ‘wasted years’.

  27. Glen gets facts wrong

    “Also Howard had been a Minister and Opposition leader for longer than Brumby was before taking over…i rest my case.”

    Howard pre-PM: OL for 4yr 10m (total); minister 7yr 3m, 5yr 3m as treasurer.
    Brumby pre-Premier: OL for 5yr 9m; minister for 7yr 10m, 7yr 2m as treasurer.

    Glen cannot understand logical arguments

    “If the experience factor is no biggy for Labor then Mike why dont you name 6 ALP front benchers”

    Glen regurgitates propaganda

    Anyone who opposes the Iraq war is a “a freedom hating…terrorist sympathising…anti-american”.

    Glen it is not your conservative politics that make you a laughing stock here, it is your inability to get your facts correct, to understand or construct logical arguments and your constant parroting of simplistic propaganda.

  28. I would like to take exception with the low unemployment statistics. When I lived in Sydney I knew of at least 5 guys locally (in my pub trivia team) that were unemployed, but not counted in any statistics as they were not registered, as they worked very sporadically .
    The definition of unemployment for statistical purposes is now , anyone working less than 1 hour a week. Goodness me, of course the rate has fallen is it was originally counted as more than 1 hour!

    My husband was unemployed recently but never registered for the dole (as I work and we are paying off a mortgage he wouldn’t get benefits) and was also told therefore he would not get assistance to find work. So he was never in the unemployment stats either. Unemployment is worse than these stats, and I supect the terms of measurement have changed so things appear more favourable than they are.

  29. 564 Glen Says: September 5th, 2007 at 12:07 am
    … the Labor Party have an inexperienced front bench its ok to tell the truth Adam…time to face facts

    Yes Glen, the Labour Party have an inexperienced front bench and it’s ok.

    Concealed in your blizzards of invective, slander and foaming-at-the-mouth wishful thinking there are a few snowflakes of truth. Or is that an illusion?

    Seriously comrade, punctuation was invented for a reason.

  30. I think the Labor Party wrote George Bush’s speech. He reminded every one of three of the four top issues. He mentioned climate change. Then George encouraged us to embrace nuclear power. Next covering Iraq. Kevin would be upset George didn’t work in the IR issue for a clean sweep. But 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

  31. The old “inexperience” argument that Glen constantly pushes really only points to the fact that the Libs can’t given any legitimate or compelling reasons not to vote Labor.

    If you have to resort to such logically empty arguments, then you are only highlighting just how ELECTABLE Labor has become.

    This is the BIG problem the Libs now have. They and their government seem to only stand on a platform of illogical, irrational, and mostly deceitful arguments for why they should remain in power. And now that the public have become highly skeptical and cynical of anything that Howard and his ministers say and do, as they should, they have now become more awake than ever before to the flaws in their arguments.

    This is why union-bashing has failed. It is why smear and fear has generally failed. And it is even why myths of superiority in economic management are finally starting to crumble.

    Glen is symptomatic of the core problem within today’s Liberal Party. Howard and all the rest assume that they can trot out any old lie and just expect the public to believe and agree with it! This is hopelessly naive and grossly out of touch.

    The Liberal Party need massive reform before it becomes completely irrelevant to mainstream Australian society. And Glen, if you are reading this, then your efforts would be much better directed towards trying to understand why and how your party is losing its relevance and how to repair it rather than contributing even further to its fundamental problems and therefore its ultimate demise.

  32. Rats

    Actually, thanks for framing the argument the way you did, you, no doubt do show debating skills and craft your responses very well!

    This is a blog and I don’t like to reveal much about myself, we all thrive on our anonymity in blogspace (no?) but I do have a background in debating and, shall we say, speaking to large groups…

    I wasn’t sure if you were referring to physical/personal attributes with regard to how well a politician is perceived to present his or herself. Actually, I was just letting you know that I certainly wasn’t. I am a firm believer in meritorious promotion and do realise how damned tough it is for a woman to get ahead in “boy’s clubs”.

    Having said this, those who do make it often have to (quite wrongly) prove themselves. Trades, Unions, Law and Politics are all spheres where it can resemble a war zone at times. Julia Gillard is no stranger to any of these domains but I wonder if she “overshoots the mark” with defensiveness and aggression in the public arena. I make no judgments about her in private life (my political friends on that side assure me that she is delightful and witty!) but politics is largely the public face.

    Thatcher? Ooops yes, I just wet myself.. still happens at times. She scares me too and I found her abrasive and arrogant much of the time.

    The other, rather contentious, think I will assert is that sometimes in politics, women can be promoted for reasons other than merit and it is a good political tactic to make to present women as candidates and portfolio holders, where possible. They often appeal to both men and women voters. Thus, we usually have a slight over-representation in portfolio positions on both sides. The contentious part is this: sometimes, they are not promoted because they are good, but because they are women. This is a shame, because I am very sympathetic to the cause of increasing female representation in politics and it can even reinforce the stereotype of women not performing as well as men.

    I submit Wilson Tuckey, whom I believe would be superior in policy-writing, public presentation, handling Tony Joneses and advocating the Labor Party to average Australians. He would be great in IR.

  33. The experience thing won’t even register on the election radar. Don’t know why anyone bothers answering Glens prognostications. Not even a blip. Let him rave on about nothing. It makes him feel useful.

    What impresses me is the warm glowing praise John Howard got from an extremely unpopular president. His unpopularity is equal to Richard Nixon’s lowest ever. 27%. Funny its the same party.

    Would you go to a job interview with references from an employer whom everyone despised?

  34. Generic Oracle

    Thanks for you comments.

    I think that women have a real problem in adapting to the “men’s club” environment and simply for the reason that they have a distinct lack of role models. It becomes a real problem for them in developing and presenting a persona that fills all the requirements that us men put on them.

    How often have we heard that she is too ………….. (please fill in the quality/weakness of your choice). However, for men we seem to use different criteria. We say Howard is dishonest or a fighter but we hardly ever say that he is “too” something.

    From a distance, the women at the moment that seems to have a good balance is M/s Clinton but maybe if I was more interested in US politics that opinion would change. Maybe in 100 years women will have had enough time to have developed role models that have developed a persona that men are comfortable with. Then again maybe it is just men that have to develop an understanding of women.

    Your assertion about the advancement of women has some validity. I have known some to get promoted because they have a very nice body and a nice smile but they are in the minority. Women are like men in that they are ambitious and will use all their abilities to gain an advantage, just like men. However, for each woman that got advancement for reasons other than skill there are 100 guys who got ahead because of reasons other than skill. Such things as playing the right sport or going to the right pub/club/university or because they are very good at the politics of the “game” rather than the game itself.

    The placing of women in inappropriate roles I think is a men’s problem rather than one for women. How often have you seen women placed in control of areas that could be classed as social? An example of this was Carmen Lawrence who was made shadow Health Minister (as was Gillard). Now Lawrence was an ex premier use to the hard decision of running a state but she was not considered for one of the “hard” areas of the federal arena. The only reason that Gillard got IR in Rudds team was that she worked in IR prior to politics and because she had a choice as deputy leader.

    I find that a biggest thing holding back women is themselves. All the women that I know well have a common flaw (if that is the right word) -they all feel guilty. Now I have to admit that I don’t understand but every one was guilty (in her own mind) about something. Maybe it was the kids or hubby or something else.

    I don’t understand but I just know they all feel/felt guilty.

    However I feel that if a women gets to the top she has done so on merit (in the vast majority of cases) and very hard work under conditions that most men do not understand and until women as a grope start to feel comfortable in these new roles they should be given encouragement rather than roadblocks. They have a lot to offer and society can benefit greatly for their involvement.

    I would have to echo your comments about Thatcher but in a couple of hundred years I bet she will be regarded as one of Britains greatest PM along with Churchill and others. I say this even though I disliked he politics.

    Once again thanks – this little discussion has been enjoyable.

  35. Ruawake,

    I will take your word for the number of times that Hockey mentioned “union bosses”.

    I have to admit that I though it was more.

    However, maybe I am just showing a distinct lack of tolerance to the dog shit that Hockey and his mates spew forth.

    Maybe I need some sensitivity training:):)

  36. ROFLOL!! 🙂 What a gaffe!! At the risk of ever having this glaring error quoted back at me, please let me make a correction!!

    My comment in #644:

    “I submit Wilson Tuckey, whom I believe would be superior in policy-writing, public presentation, handling Tony Joneses and advocating the Labor Party to average Australians. He would be great in IR.”

    I would not wish Wilson Tuckey on the Labor Party at all!! I do, of course mean Lindsay Tanner!!

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