Newspoll: 55-45

Seven News has reported that the most keenly awaited opinion poll in recent memory, tomorrow’s Newspoll, will show “a significant shift back to the Coalition” from last fortnight’s 59-41.

UPDATE: The ABC now reports the Coalition has “clawed back eight points”, hence the new headline.

UPDATE 2: Report up at the News site confirms the headline figure, without providing further detail.

UPDATE 3: Graphic here. Note the intriguing resilience of the Prime Minister’s ratings on performance approval and preferred Liberal leader.

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.

642 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. Re: the Union Bosses advertising banners, old news on this thread (i.e. about 3 hours old!)

    There has been one sitting on the hoarding in City West for at least 4 weeks now, accompanying the usu banner spruiking estate agent-cum-benchwarmer Michael Keenan (who has now decided to start worrying about “local concerns” instead of having a big Aussie flag as his background). As you drive past it you enter his electorate of Stirling.

    As for the polls, a bit of a deflation after the thrills of the last 2 weeks, but it sort of confirms my theory that the person whose face is in the news seems to get a lift in vote, whether it’s good news or bad – as
    long as they don’t do something really bad. Maybe Gillard was right, and
    a sympathy factor did come into play – it has worked for Rudd over the last 6 mohts’ shenanigans.

    I have a feeling that 41-43% of voters (primary vote) are now welded to the ALP, another 3-5% seem decidedly attracted, but might peel off if they decided they don’t like the look of Rudd after all, and the remainder that occasionally boosts the ALP primary above 50% now and then, are fairly capricious (i.e. not all that switched on to the debate) and account for the poll-to-poll fluctuations (in addition to statistical noise).

    This is the scary thing for the Libs – I remember Steven Smith saying during the ABC 2004 election coverage that the ALP needs a 4 in front of their primary vote to have a chance – how are the current polling figures going to be eroded below 42% primary for them to have a chance? The other downside for Howard et al is that _their_ side would also have 3-5% of voters who are tiring of Howard, and could switch over if they are impressed by Rudd in the campaign and decide that the ALP is better equipped to govern in the near to medium term future. The NewsPoll questions suggest that they don’t see Costello as a viable alternative, or Turnbull for that matter.

  2. I would be furious if there was an independent speaker what the hell kind of double standard lets the conservatives get away with murder for 11 years without anyone raising an eyebrow or writing a soft gentle piece on the damage to the nation being done, but on the eve of a probable labor win thinks we should play by a whole different ethical set of standards? You have got to be joking?

    Don’t all the re-elections of Howard count as an endorsement of what he had been responsible for? This whole we expect better from labor fanasty is quite disturbing.

    Having said that, we in labor do expect better and you’ll almost always get it for us in Government, but please the double standard makes me feel ill, unless of course you are one of me … we can say what we want about what we expect of us.

  3. It’s interesting that today the policies seem to be rolling out…Labor on dental care, Coalition on Brisbane Airport etc. This is as it should be in an election. While discussion on poll movements and Liberal leadership speculation is fun, it’s partly a way of filling the vacuum before the policy debate begins.

    Perhaps today is the start of the real election campaign, perhaps not. I’m sure the Libs are doing some private polling right now to see if there’s some momentum around, to justify calling an election.

    I also think the news around about the run on the bank in the UK, and a report that Australia could cop a recession in a year or two, will help the government.

    On more thing…I’ve mentioned before that dental services are a huge issue, particularly in regional areas. Even talking about them will help Labor. Why Medicare ignores dental care, in a country like ours which can afford to provide it, mystifies me. But I think both parties still need to do more to ease the shortage of dentists, and do something that will lower dental fees.

  4. Love the idea on the dams – I had it myself some time ago and I think a lot of people would go for it

    When the choices are deslination plant or recycled water, I know that I’d prefer more dams

    It would also be a psoitive way to highlight the model that Australia is comfortable with, ie Libs at the federal level working with ALP at the state level

  5. Jasmine I don’t demand more from the ALP. I demand the same amount from both parties.

    Saying “the other side does it so we will too” is just childish. I expect far more than that from our democracy.

    It’s the same thing… Hawke/Keating abolished life tenure for department heads, introducing the stacking of the public service with partisan figures. The Coalition in winning government ought to have reintroduced the impartiality of our public service. They haven’t. Now I’ll be calling on the ALP to reintroduce it.

    Just settling for the lowered standards of the previous government isn’t good enough.

  6. John Howard man of Lead.

    Lead has a dull luster and is a dense, ductile, very soft, highly malleable. This true metal is highly resistant to corrosion. Because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids Lead can be toughened by adding a small amount of antimony or other metals to it. Lead is also poisonous. All lead, except 204Pb, is the end product of a complex radioactive decay.

  7. Phil Robins,

    I’m not a spelling pedant by nature (mainly because I’m a poor speller), but one that gets me is “noone” as in “no one”. I would accept that it is a typo, however it appears to be popping up all over the place lately.

    Noone may be a surname; or perhaps old English e.g. “ye olde high noone” or some such, other than that it has no meaning.

  8. Why build dams when most of the existing ones are almost empty? We’d probably have enough water if we could fill what we’ve already got.

    It would be cheaper and more sensitive to make individuals more reponsible for the own water supplies, by providing incentives for more homes and businesses to have water tanks and better recycling, and making it compulsory for new homes and factories.

    There aren’t too many spots left in southern Australia, actually, where you could build a big dam, where one hasn’t already been built. Australia is a pretty flat country with not much rainfall.

  9. [Noone may be a surname; or perhaps old English e.g. “ye olde high noone” or some such, other than that it has no meaning.]

    And the most famous “Noone” is Peter Noone, better known has “Herman”, the lead singer of 60’s pop Group Herman’s Hermits. 🙂

    But I digress

    I wonder what the backlash would be if this was applied to non-aboriginal stuents who se parents are “Howards Battlers” ?

    [The Federal Government is considering quarantining 100 per cent of the welfare payments of Aboriginal parents who do not send their children to school.

    Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough has released more details about the Government’s next phase of its intervention into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

    It includes a requirement for the Territory Government to provide all the resources for children to be educated including teachers, classrooms and books.

    Mr Brough says the aim is for all children to be enrolled and to attend school regularly.

    “That is the only chance they have of having good English, numeracy, literacy and a real chance of a job,” he said.

    “People who do not fulfil their obligations as parents and carers [will] have not just 50 per cent of their welfare payments quarantined, but potentially up to 100 per cent.”]

  10. My argument is a little more sophisticated than ‘they did it’.

    It was ‘they did it for 11 years (tradition setting surely) and our democracy has endorsed it how many times so far since 1996?’

    I think it is very unreasonable to expect something of our democracy when our democracy clearly has no interest what-so-ever in it.
    Given our democracy has no interest in it, it is a little rich to expect one of the combatants to disadvantage themselves for some concept of greater good not endorsed or pursued by our democracy. As a beloved brother in the cause says ‘just silly talk’.

    And as for the public service again the coalition has abolished the independent public service and the concept of ministerial responsibility (other than for matters linked loosely to Mr Burke). Again our democracy has endorsed that a number of times. Why would you expect Labor to insult our democracy by trying to return something it clearly doesn’t want.

    Come on lets be honest this is elitist lefty stuff Adam should be here actively opposing (he opposes it whenever I get near to being an elist lefty).

  11. jasmine_Anadyr

    If you are saying that an ill-informed vote is better than no vote then I would have to agree with you.

    The basic tenant of our system of Government is that we all participate in the appointment of those who rule us. If we do not participate in this appointment then we are eroding the basis principle of out system.

    This is why I believe that every encouragement should be given to the electorate to be involved in the election process. Societies that don’t engage in the appointment of its government place at risk those rights that make us a free society.

    It is impossible to force voters to lodge a secret ballot but I don’t think that it is unreasonable to require citizens to attend a polling place every now and then so that they have every opportunity to be involved in the election process.

    Just like any thing that is worthwhile we have to work at it. I would also argue that the fewer people that are involved the more at risk is our system. In my opinion those who don’t vote are saying that the society in which they live in is not worth the effort.

  12. The art of communication is to ensure a message is transmitted from sender to receiver and that message is understood. Its funny, I understand what was written even with speliing mihstakes.

    Get onto google and do a search on “anal retentive”

  13. Fulvio Sammut @ #497 : That may be so, but if Rudd or Gillard did the same thing, The Speaker would have thrown them out, and then Howard and Costello would crow about how immature Rudd is and why the people of Australia shouldn’t trust an immature leader.

  14. “The Speaker let Abbott call Rudd a liar, but then asked the Labor member for Watson to withdraw when he called Abbott a liar.”

    This is quite depressing for who is the judge of the judge. Conceivably if the speaker let this go then how far will he eventually go? He can turn Parliament into a joke and a make it a show case for the government – there is nobody to stop him.
    AND many parts of the electorate are indeed quite stupid simply because they have no idea why they are voting for someone. A person can vote in an election the result of which can affect the country and their life in any number of ways and they dont bother to know the first thing about what is what, who is who?

    There is a woman I work with, 47 a few kids, manages a fair swag of land for a State govt and has a good reasoning ability. I asked her why she voted for Howard. She said because he was such a nice man. I advised her of some of the things he and the government had done and her response was that Mr Howard is such a nice man he wouldn’t have done these things himself or deliberately, he probably didnt know or wasn’t told etc – he is a ‘nice’ a man an nice people dont do bad things. 0% for thinking. 0% for responsibility. Some of the worlds worst criminals were/are ‘nice’ men.

    I dont know too much about American politics but it does seem everybody has at least an opinion and a cursory interest. And the electioneering period and its antics seems to be part of their culture.

  15. That’s a zinger, Simon.

    “Rudd’s line should be “A $17 billion surplus, but you can’t commit $200 million to dealing with dental health?”

    The “tooth-ache vote” is indeed a raw nerve for the mean-spirited Howard Govt.
    Meanwhile, I trust Hyacinth managed to have her people finish those renovations at Kirribilli House in time to invite Peter and Tanya over for air kissies, din-dins and photo-ops before E-Day.

    An “Election Eve Special” for Australian Story, perhaps? John could propose the toast to Peter, “to Australia’s future PM” and make little jokes about how, as he promised he would, he’d see his parliamentary days out as the Back-Bencher from Bennelong. And what fun it will be for he and Janette picking up sticks and moving back to their heartland of Woolstonecraft safe in the knowledge that Australia, as well as the World Heritage Listed abode would be in the very best possible hands.

  16. [Simon the South Australian parliament had an independent speaker for the first Rann term when the numbers were tight. After the landslide election they’ve appointed a Labor speaker.]

    Yeah, giving the speakership to Peter Lewis was one requirement to get him to support a Labor government (I’m in S.A.). Rann made him speaker, even though he is / was a total loon.

    The deputy speaker now is Bob Such, a former liberal, who has been an independent for the last two terms.

    [It’d be at the very start of a term and who cares about the internal goings on of parliament anyhow]

    Yeah, it should matter though! I guess ultimately I’m an idealist who thinks things should be changed for the better.

  17. Maybe the Speaker should be an idependant non politician. An ex-judge or barrister who would simply rule according to the letter of the law and tradition.

  18. To follow up on Kina’s observation, try this one from the ’04 poll in the queue lining up, whilst standing behind a mid-30s blue-collar male and his young son – this is somewhere in the (ex) electorate of Gwydir in country NSW.

    CHILD: What are we doing, daddy?

    MAN: Voting in the election.

    CHILD: Who are you voting for?

    MAN: I’m voting for Mr Howard.

    CHILD: Why?

    MAN: Because he gave us money.

    Right then and there it dawned on me why this country is going down the gurgler at a rate of knots.

  19. Kina: the constitution says that the speaker is to be elected from one on the members. So it will never happen. The job of the Speaker of the house is to keep order, but also allow the government of the day to go on with its business.

  20. Kina, I like your thinking, but the problem then becomes one of how this person is chosen, and whether this person would then be open to claims of bias to one side or the other. The earlier suggestion of using an independent is a good one, but a problem if parliament ever reaches the stage where there are no independents.

    The current system is probably the worst system for managing parliament, apart from all of the other systems that came before it.

  21. [But parliament is not supposed to be a court, it is supposed to represent the majority will of the electorate not neutralise it with an unelected official.]

    Yeah, I agree. I still think it should be a member, but an independent. Plus there should be rules, for example they don’t attend party room meetings.

    Or maybe the major parties take it in turns.

  22. I didn’t see it today but you have to be careful, there are particulare rules in parliament. For example, it might be OK to say Rudd lied but not OK to call him a liar. Very subtle difference but it is where the line is drawn.

  23. Re (483),

    “I didn’t listen to Question Time today, but yesterday was a joke. The Speaker let Abbott call Rudd a liar, but then asked the Labor member for Watson to withdraw when he called Abbott a liar. Hawker frequently loses completely control of parliament. ”

    Actually, he wasn’t half bad today, I didn’t listen to the whole thing, but most of it and did catch the beginning. Rudd tried to ask his first question about the Libs ditching the dental policy thing in 1996. He was hooted down by the Libs in Parliament before he could get the question finished. No less than 5 times as I recall. I thought it was a real treat to see Hawker putting the Libs down today. Don’t recall if any Libs got booted but Rudd had at least 6 goes before he got the first question finished ;-D

  24. It’s an Australian tradition that all Speakers be biased, like all referees and umpires.

    And as for grammatical pedants (of whom I am one)…once the Rudd education revolution has happened, there will be no mor speling mistahks and apostrophe’s will be in all the right place’s.

  25. Antonio #512
    Asking why build dams when we haven’t got enough water to fill the ones we have is like asking why put in a second windmill when there is hardly enough wind for the first.

    We actually require more catchment, not necessarily more storage. This would mean that dams could have a relatively small footprint to have the same net effect. It would be a bit like diverting another river so it feeds into Warragamba.

    The real answer to why build dams is because it is an election winner.

  26. Could be a good election to lose:

    Economist warns of debt-fuelled recession

    A new report by economist Dr Steve Keen warns that Australians are still so addicted to debt that within two years we will be paying as much of the national income on interest payments as we were in 1990, when interest rates were at 17 per cent.

    …debt’s growing so much faster than GDP (gross domestic product) that we’re really dependent upon that borrowed money to continue maintaining our current lifestyles.

    You think about the amount of money you spend each year, it’s the sum of what you earn plus your increase in debt. But because our aggregate debt is so much larger than our economy now, our aggregate economic output’s about a trillion dollars a year.

    The increase in debt last year was $200-billion, 20 per cent of the level of output of the economy. Now, you imagine cutting out that 20 per cent, or even simply reducing the rate of growth of debt so it grows no faster than GDP, that would still knock about $100-billion of spending off the economy.

    We’re only about 18 months away from the point at which the debt levels will be so great that the debt servicing will be as big as it was in 1990, even with interest rates half the size they were then.

    …if we continued borrowing at the same rate and the interest rates stayed where they were, and by 2040 it’d take 100 per cent of GDP to service the debt. Of course that simply can’t happen, so some time between now and 2040 we have to change our habits pretty rapidly, and I think it will be a lot closer to now than in the far distant future.

    This time it’ll be households (who carry the burden) , because businesses really did get their borrowing back in order. They reduced their aggregate level of debt quite substantially after 1990. It’s now back up to the same level, but of course they’re paying half the rate of interest they were back then. So they’re comparatively quite well off.

    Transcripts etc @

  27. 509
    ruawake Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 6:45 pm
    John Howard man of Lead.

    Lead has a dull luster and is a dense, ductile, very soft, highly malleable. This true metal is highly resistant to corrosion. Because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids Lead can be toughened by adding a small amount of antimony or other metals to it. Lead is also poisonous. All lead, except 204Pb, is the end product of a complex radioactive decay.

    LMAO, that my friend, is priceless 🙂

  28. Yes ifonly, I remember the Franklin Dam being a big election winner. And the Traveston Dam is loved by the voters too.

    And why indeed put in a second windmill if there’s hardly enough wind for the first?

  29. Go on Piers Akerman’s website.
    I reckon every comment on their would be by a guy who would bash their wife and kids if they didn’t disagree with them (like most latched on Liberal supporters!)

  30. [Christopher Pyne, the minister for I don’t like them, got booted. ]

    WOW, The Duchess of Sturt actually did something!? Or rather, something got done to him?


  31. Perhaps, rather than being a Man of Lead, John Howard is a Man of Phosphorus. Pure phosphorus is “colourless and transparent”, but can “catch fire spontaneously”. It is “highly energy intensive” and was originally extracted from urine.

  32. If in the party room they were asking for policy ideas for the campaign, are we just going to have a cheque book campaign with ideas just blurted out and no details behind them? Funny how the Coalition have been asking Labor to provide full details of their policies and it seems they don’t have any.

  33. “Abbott vs Roxon on 7:30 Report. Oh this will be fun to watch.”

    How did a lightweight such as Roxon:

    1. Win pre-selection for a plum safe seat such as Gellibrand.
    2. Get appointed as shadow health minister.

    Fair dinkum she is hopeless. She exudes as much passion as a wet lettuce. A liability in a key portfolio.

  34. To be honest I did not know much about Roxon but having just watched her against Abbot on the 7:30 report must say I was rather impressed.

    In my opinion she got the better of him and caught him out a few times.

  35. I gather the parliament is supposed to operate according to written procedures, standing orders that were designed to create a certain type of outcome.

    If we have a Speaker warning one side about calling a person a liar but not the other then that is an abuse and simply means a Speaker from a political party is not capable of applying standing orders as they were intended.

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