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. I actually thought Abbott was tame tonight, no shrill. Maybe there has been word from above that the ministers who go on TV need to behave. It was such a boring interview since neither really got hot under the collar.

  2. [Prime Minister John Howard has delivered a pep talk to Coalition MPs during today’s party room meeting.

    Mr Howard told the MPs they can win the election and he has told them not to succumb to the idea they have been in power for too long.

    In Parliament, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd said Mr Howard is playing a blame game with the states over services like dental health and has accused him of not sticking to the constitutional rules.

    “Has the Prime Minister now suspended the constitution?”, he said.

    “Whatever the delusions of grandeur he might have, prime ministers, or indeed putative prime ministers cannot suspend the constitution of this country.”

    Mr Howard says he will blame the states if he believes they are failing to deliver services and he has again pointed out all states and territories have Labor Governments.]

  3. Roxon usually outperforms whoever she is up against. It is because of her appearance and speaking style assume she is not that good. The same goes with Gillard. Rather a plain monotone style but what she says is exact and incisive. Competence over appearance, that is a radical thing Rudd has done in choosing his front bench [that bit which he could choose].

  4. M/s Roxon did very well on the 7.30 Report.

    She held her own throughout the interview and finished strongly by catching Abbott on a lie at the end.

    Such a good performance against one of the Governments heavyweights dispels all the negative comments I have seen on this blog about her.

  5. Got my first in front of the camera look at Roxon myself on the 7.30 Report. I think she did well enough to articulate her position on the issues, though she is abit of a ‘wet lettuce’ performer.

    Mind you, the Abbott didn’t inspire me to confidence in the current state of the health system with the Coalition ‘steady as she goes and blame the States’ mantra when it goes wrong in health.

    This mantra has been the Coalition’s strategy on other key policy areas such as industrial relations, mortgage interest rate rises, transport infrastructure (eg Ports), the water ‘crisis’, education, environmental issues, Indigenous affairs and employment.

    If I were in the Coalition’s shoes I would do the same thing but I would be wary of an electorate that is fast becoming tired of ‘the blame game’ being played out between State and Federal Governments of all colours for as long as I can remember.

    On the whole, I think Roxon avoided the blame game strategy and did a reasonable job of her first foray into the television spotlight that I have witnessed. How does she perform in the House of Fun {Parliament} ?

  6. “She exudes as much passion as a wet lettuce.”

    Ministers don’t have to exude passion – they just have to know what they’re talking about and be somewhat competent.

    However, I think anybody would look reasonable against Tony Abbott. He’s looked a little frazzled lately – I still think he’s having trouble with the concept that the government is in at least a little bit of trouble (given his constant statements about polls not reflecting reality).

  7. Roxon was articulate, strong, confident and showed vision and direction for the countrys future health plans. What a contrast compared to that opportunistic backflipping bully whose future health plans go as far as the next election.

    Now we can mark Roxon better than Abbott when comparing sides head to head.

    What’s been happening on this thread guys? Anything worth reading?

  8. Roxon was OK I thought, but it doesn’t really matter does it? This team thing is just a Howard ploy to keep the party together, even the Libs don’t really think what the otehr ministers are like makes much difference in the electorate. They will campaign on Howard, Howard, Howard.

  9. Abbott makes me feel as comfortable as if there were a centipede crawling around under my bed sheets. I bet centipedes feel the same way about him. He is the Minister for Spite and Malice though he often has to compete with the perennial schoolboy Downer for most malicious comment award for the under 13s.

  10. It’s interesting that Rudd picked “the blame game” with the states as an issue as soon as he was elected leader, and now it’s the game the coalition is playing. I think the issue will play into Labor’s hands, because people generally don’t like conflict, and a party that promises to co-operate rather than confront can do well. Remember Hawke’s consensus? The punters loved it, even though they were pretty well left out as Hawkie sucked up to big business and big unions.

    If Rudd keeps pointing out that health and education are constitutionally the responsibility of the states (more or less), and the Commonwealth should be helping them rather than attacking them, he may win the battle. I think the coalition’s tactic of trying to take over any areas where it feels the states aren’t delivering will backfire, because voters will think the commonwealth is offering a brawl, not a solution.

    That’s not to say some of the states don’t need a rocket put up them on health in particular…

  11. Meantime, in sunny Queensland, the Federal Government has approved the construction of a second runway at Brisbane Airport.

    These planes will fly right over the top of both marginal Coalition and [not in danger] Labor seats, though the apologist’s reckon most of the planes will be able to fly out over Moreton Bay. ..Moreton eh……whoops, oh well, JWH must have thought that seat was a goner anyway.

  12. Meanwhile the libs are pleading with Howard for an answer to the housing affordibility crisis he created.

    “But housing affordability dominated, with MPs warning that the Government had to come up with a federal answer and not just blame the states.”


    “Howard threw the meeting open to ideas from the floor.
    In all, 50 members and senators put up ideas on everything from climate change to dental health to cutting HECS fees.”

    Great, so after 11 years they are FINALLY thinking about planning and policies, better late than never, but it is too late for this lazy conceited mob of jokers.,25197,22441202-12377,00.html

  13. The Brisbane runway will become the new version of the Sydney saga, 3rd runway or Badgerys Creek. I won’t happen, because it will become a point scoring exercise between the parties.

  14. “As a spelling pedant, it is disturbing to see how many intelligent bloggers say loosing instead of losing as the participle for the verb to lose.”……………… think it drives you nuts here, you should go to the Commsec chatrooms where noooooobody knows how to spell it correctly.

  15. On the polls, I predict an equally impressive bounce back to Labor next time around.

    Meantime, it has put a very necessary rocket up the kite of any Labor Party apparatick that thought this was going to be a cake walk and all Rudd has to do is sit on his hands and diffused some of the ‘sympathy’ vote Howard was desperately reaching out for only last week.

    Ah, the game of politics, you think you can read the landscape and it turns a corner while your painting in the shadows.

    Fear not Labor people, no need to get that bitter taste in your mouth just yet, just do more than talk the talk, get out there and support the Party if you are not doing so already.



  16. Exclusive! Howard’s finger divides nation

    Exclusive photographs of Prime Minister Johnny Be Good’s singularly raised digit, published today in the evil right-left biased media, have divided God’s Own Country in the lead up to the next election.

    According to an exclusive Morgnewnielspoll, to be published in both the Neo-Conspiracy Gazette and Cafe Latte Brunchtime Herald tomorrow, 47% of voters thought the PM was giving decent, working Austraaaalian families the one-fingered salute, 41% thought he was showing that upstart union thug, aka Herald of the End of the World, the respect he deserved, 4% wrung their hands and muttered about worm farms, and an unmoved 8% thought the PM was adjusting his glasses.

    Speculation in the Press-Gang Gallery of Shame is still rife, however, as to how the unmoved, considered key to the outcome of the bloody-well-hopefully-soon-to-be-called election, will react in the long-term to the revelations.

    “There’s only one poll that matters,” Be Good said. “I might give HEW a more gentle two fingers next time, but the good people of God’s Own, if they are kind enough to vote for me again, will judge this government on its record of far-out fantastic economic growth, simply sensational leadership credentials and the elegant lines of Lord Downer’s calf muscles in Victoria’s latest Secret.”

  17. The Australian’s most recent poll had a rather curious set of numbers to the question “How much individual credit can Treasurer Peter Costello take for Australia’s strong economic position?“:

    4% All of the credit
    17% Most of the credit
    20% Some of the credit
    42% Very little credit
    17% None of the credit

    If we consider that the last two answers constitute a vote against the government, and the other three are a vote for the government, then we get a 59-41 result.

    Kind of similar to the 2PP numbers from last week’s polls, isn’t it?

  18. ArbieJay, I also noticed that story, and a similar one last week, previewing today’s party meeting. I did find it amazing that Howard was asking for policy ideas from backbenchers at this late stage. And the ones they suggested seem to be the ones Labor already has announced policies on. They are playing catch-up.

    If Howard is genuine about listening to his backbench and using their policy ideas, there’s no way he can call the election yet. It takes a while to turn suggestion into a properly-costed policy, unless they’re all going to be Murray-Darling Basin style policies, where Treasury or Cabinet aren’t consulted.

    It must be really hard for backbenchers in marginal seats to be campaigning, while still waiting for the policies to campaign on. Perhaps the only policy they’ve been given is that “Labor is full of union bosses”.

  19. The party meeting today sounds like a shambles, this will be the last or second to last before the election and they are discussing the basic aspects of what to campaign for. Another bad opinion poll and the panic will begin again. It is amazing how a government can become so paralysed.

  20. Neil i am with you as a Labor Member Roxon i thought was pathetic. As someone else said Nicola who?
    A typical politician to frightened to speak her mind, always cautious and dreary.. No passion exactly… Roxon is a dud and Abbott well he was always a lieing, sneaky creep.. one you can’t trust…
    Roxon who?

  21. 575

    This whole “beware the union bosses” campaign irks me no end. It’s obviously another fear and smear effort, but the thing is, Australia has already had a former union boss as PM (Hawke) and the public voted him in four times. The current Labor leader has no union background whatsoever, so there’s even less “dnager” than there was before. This is an empty, negative argument that needs to be exposed as such.

  22. Nothing wrong with a union influence in government, most unions are sensible and realise that a prospering business benefits all.

    I don’t see any “dnager” in that.

  23. 558 and 559

    Roxon is another one of factional hacks that Labor has in its ranks. A person more interested in the inducements of power and what politicians receive in benefits than doing things that will matter. I am no fan… Mark Latham in the Latham Diaries showed what kind of individual she is a person more interested in the factional game than the policy game… I am sorry to denigrate her but like Swan, Conroy, Smith and Albanese she will put the faction first and creating real change in this country second. Would not trust Roxon.

  24. Antonio Piping

    Yeah, so much for an experienced government, a few weeks before the election and the call goes out, “Anyone got any ideas or policies”

    Howard called Beazley pathetic after 2001, when he said Beazley was rushing around at the last minute releasing policies.

    Yet the libs are in a worse state, not having any policies to release.

  25. 558 and 559

    Roxon is another one of the factional hacks that Labor has in its ranks. A person more interested in the inducements of power and what politicians receive in benefits than doing things that will matter. I am no fan… Mark Latham in the “Latham Diaries” showed what kind of individual she is, a person more interested in the factional game than the policy game… I am sorry to denigrate her but like Swan, Conroy, Smith and Albanese she will put the faction first and creating real change in this country second.
    I am wondering what major policy ideas Roxon has to offer as yet i have not heard any. To me she has no ideas and if any floated into her head she would be to frightened to express them. And to think she will be Health Minister… Where is Brian Howe when you need him or Neil Blewett.
    Would not trust Roxon.

  26. Jasmine,

    You said this earlier today about Kevin Rudd

    “His views on workchoices are moderated not by his inner belief in exploiting workers but by the electoral challenge of who do you trust with the economy. Where he is currently is he currently is the Federal Parliamentary leader of the Australian Labor party and therefore the Australian Labor movement, of course he opposes the exploitation of workers.”

    Are you saying Kevin Rudd is only against workchoices out of a pragmatic approach to politics? ie, because he is leader of the ALP…and not because it is in his heart?

    I actually agree with this point……and I think it is an important clue for the LNP if they want to errode his undoubted support.

    I don’t think Kevin Rudd is a true labor leader

  27. Bennelong will be close but i doubt Howard will lose it… If there is a byelection however this result may alter. And by the way what are Maxines credentials and ideas … I suppose for once she is not a lawyer or office appartichik…

  28. marky marky, taking notice of Latham and his diaries, mate, you are kiddin’!

    If you have not heard any policy ideas from Labor, you should have watched the 7.30 Report. At least they have a plan. The coalition have bribes.

  29. This is the Morgan Reactor. The only thing I noticed was a slight dip in LNP support when Costello started to speak. But it did indicate that the Labor supporters were in no way less firm than LNP supporters.

    Beware: it took a littel while to down load with 1,500 Mbs

  30. jasmine_Anadyr, you must be a very young girl, with no memory or experience of the terrors, pain, and dissatisfaction of the ALP in government in Canberra.

  31. I watched it Centre and yep sure is a plan…
    I suppose they modis operandi is in place.. But exactly will they do.. .To me they should scrap or downgrade the Private Health Rebate which is costing billions and use this money for public hospitals or means test the subsidy or reduce the subsidy from 30 per cent to 20 per cent and lower it each year… but Labor has no courage to do something about this rort!!!
    I am sorry Centre but Labors plan is a wishy washy change… and will Labor bring in Case mix system in hospitals…
    I agree that the liberals are full of bribes…but remember they don’t believe in Medicare and the Socialisation of health care to them its about paying for it…

  32. [I don’t think Kevin Rudd is a true labor leader]

    This accusation is made of most Labor leaders, including Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

  33. Yeah, so much for an experienced government, a few weeks before the election and the call goes out, “Anyone got any ideas or policies”

    Policies? I don’t think so. More like “We’re still a mile behind in the polls chaps and chapesses so if you have a pet project that will save your sorry hide, I’ll run it by Pete “The Cowardly Treasurer” and if he doesn’t squeak too much it’s yours.

  34. People conveniently forget the strong stable Labor made economy we now have. Howard has admitted this when he took over saying the economy was good and in some parts very good. In fact Howard has said that he tried to do what Labor did – itself an admission that Labor created our current prosperity. Howard says he couldn’t do what Hawke/Keating did because Mr. Fraser wouldn’t let him. Fraser called his bluff saying that Howard was being rodent again, Howard thereafter silent.

    So this nonsense of high rates under Labor is a bit shrill and ignores that the crap was inherited from JW Howard who lied about his economy during the first stages of his evolution into rodent.

    ALL that has happened since is the global and China booms and the bad spending of Howard Costello who have wasted the surpluses and now left us to do catch up.

  35. Catching up on a previous thread.
    Despite a large Labor majority, the NSWLA has had an independent speaker (Richard Torbay) since Iemma was elected in March. I have no idea how he got this through caucus. There have been no reports of the sky falling in or of better behaviour. Indeed, Pru Goward (Goulburn) has complained about the blockiness and crudity of the chamber (its not called the bear pit for nothing).

  36. Rupert.. really what terrors exactly… Medicare, Superannuation for working people, Unfair dismissals laws, rebates for research and development… Please what terrors Rupert…

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