Newspoll: 56-44

Newspoll has been sprung on us a day early, showing Labor’s two-party lead widening to 56-44 from 55-45 a fortnight ago. Labor’s primary vote is up from 47 per cent to 48 per cent, and the Coalition’s is down from 41 per cent to 39 per cent. Kevin Rudd has taken a slight hit on his satisfaction rating, down from 65 per cent to 62 per cent.

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.

570 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

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  1. [Leadership battles back on agenda?]

    I don’t think so, you’d need a 58 / 42 rogue for that.

    I just don’t see the polls narrowing, so what does Howard gain by waiting? What if the polls get worse, what does he do then, wait until January? Surely that would be electoral suicide.

  2. While the other polls have jumped all over the place, Newspoll has been remarkably stable these last few months (Jumping between 55/56 ALP TPP with 1 outlier.)
    Makes Morgan look silly with its 54% ALP primary and frequently large fluctuations. As i said in the other thread, this election will be the nail in Morgan’s coffin.

    #1: This result will not produce leadership battles.

  3. The latest mumblings that I’ve heard on the grape vine is a call this weekend for November 17.

    There must be some Nervous backbenchers around, Solomon must be witten off, the biggest campaign noise we have up here was Senator Johnston up here trying to flog off some CCT systems.

  4. Great result for Labor. Pardon the conspiracy theory, why is it out a day early?

    It would have been far worse for the Government if there had been the usual heightened pre-poll speculation and then this result showing the govt going backwards.

    Has News offered an explanation?

  5. [Great result for Labor. Pardon the conspiracy theory, why is it out a day early? ]

    Ordinarily there would’ve been an AC Nielsen in the Fairfax press today, but that didn’t happen, perhaps because of the additional internet poll last week. Maybe News Ltd. found out there wouldn’t be a Nielsen today, but there may be another one later this week, so they wanted to release first?

    Just my guess.

  6. Presumably polls cost more to conduct over long weekends, so Newspoll brought everything forward a day.

    Nielsen isn’t due out until next Monday.

  7. [Presumably polls cost more to conduct over long weekends, so Newspoll brought everything forward a day.]

    Aren’t they prohibited from calling on long weekends? Or do they just avoid calling out of courtesy, or perhaps because so many people are away it ruins their figures.

  8. That is the first step in the so-called “significant shift of a forthnight ago being eroded. 55-45 seems to be the minimum figure in the polls at this stage. When was the last time there were polls consistently under 55 (or at least 2 in a row?

    George Megalagorgeous was correct on Insiders yesterday morning with the idea that there haven’t been two good polls in a row for JWH. A good one comes along and the next one is bad.

  9. Just looked at the Newspoll site and it would seem the last two consecutive polls under 55 were in November last year and there has only been one other since. OUCH

  10. there has been a lot of speculation everywhere about when The Rodent will call the election.

    one thing is for certain.

    it will be called before Oct 9. there will not be another parliament sitting.

    i would have thought everyone would know JWH by now and how his mind works. there is no way he will allow anyone to call him scared by going beyond Oct 9 and the 3 year term.

  11. Re HarryH @ 14

    “There is no way he will allow anyone to call him scared by going beyond Oct 9 and the 3 year term.”

    However, his 3 years isn’t technically up until 16 November. If there’s a way to argue he still has time he’ll argue it.

    I still don’t understand why if they’re internal polling is so great they haven’t just called the election. Rubbish about the grand finals is unbelievable as it hasn’t stopped them in the past.

  12. The rodent is so fixated on himself he can’t see what happening around him.

    Australia wants him gone and he just wont see it, he is so blind to reality. Must be loads of fun to be a Lib. backbencher!

  13. Like I have said in other fora….

    The only real poll is the one on election day. While I despise and detest JWH (our very own homegrown Bonsai Bush), he IS a very wiley and tricky campaigner. Rudd must not let up the pressure on him until the poll day, or else this could become 1998 Mk II. Howard only needs one mistake on Labor’s part – then his pet hounds in the media can howl at Rudd, deafening the voters with their endlessly-repeated mantras of “Rudd’s incompetant”, “Rudd: the Union Puppet” etc. etc. etc. My analysis of hte media’s impact (and their eternal hostility to the ALP) is such that I have put $20 in a private bet on a Liberal win.

    Don’t get complacent, Rudd, and the victory may be yours. As far as I’m concerned, that would be $20 well spent.

  14. Come on Howard Huggers! Where are you all?

    56/44 surely means its all over for Rudd and Howard is coming back with a vengeance!

    (BTW – I am still guessing a 24 November election, and I dont think November is ‘late’ either)

  15. Just read articles from Shanahan and Milne in the Government Gazette – do they write this stuff with a straight face?

  16. I’m struck by Dennis Shanahan’s lead article accompying today’s poll. I talks in measured tones of the poll hloding steady since June at 56 or so for labour. No more “narrowing” no more cant about the preferred PM numbers. It could almost have been written by Possum or Peter Brent. He’s having one of his periods of calm rationality. The medication must have kicked in.

  17. I agree BrisstRod, they are living in la la land. Must be hard for them everyday to be howard huggers and have to put some positive spin on it all. Shame they are so blind that they can never just say that we, the Australian people, want Howard gone and Rudd in.

  18. There is a tone of quiet desperation in Shanahan’s piece. The bias is still there – as in portraying Howard’s manipulation of the polling date to suit his own agenda as ‘perfectly reasonable’ (I assume Shanahan counts himself as one of Howard’s ‘friendly advisers’) – but the false bravado has gone. I suspect he now believes the situation is beyond redemption. Bolt and Albrechtsen have already come to terms with this possibility. The question is, can Shanahan, Milne and Akerman, or are we going to be witnessing some legendary scorched earth journalism over the next few weeks?

  19. I hate to harp on about the GG, but Rudd is really going to cop it from them during the campaign.
    Just check out the Australian’s headlines in reaction to the llatest Poll:

    “Dennis Shanahan: Only one choice for Howard: hold off
    Report: Rudd dodges union’s admission on funds
    Editorial: Campaign cheques Labor can’t cash
    Glenn Milne: Arts community should back Howard.”

    Gee, that’s balanced coverage!!

  20. I think we finally have the real state of affairs here. Either that 59-41 was an outlier, or was affected by JWB turning up and causing Howard to look even worse. The election will likely be 55-45 or thereabouts unless there’s some major issue that causes a shift one way or another.

    Wasn’t it nice, too, to see that Shanahanahan pointed out the drop in Rudd’s approval rating, but failed to mention that Howard’s approval rating also dropped (albeit by less) ?

    I actually think there’s a chance the election might be called today. I suspect that the Libs might be thinking that, with the primary and 2PP votes pretty much flatlining, the only way to pull anything back is to start the contest for real.

    Has anyone noted a dropoff in the Workchoices ads? I didn’t see a single one during the NRL Grand Final but then I didn’t watch the whole thing.

  21. Kit (20) – I totally agree. It’s the reason I took their website out of my Bookmarks, so I’m not tempted to go there, unless it’s to read the Newspoll numbers.

    I used to read it to gauge the thoughts of the conservatives on the current state of affiars, but I don’t even do that any more. I wish there was something more that could be done, other than writing nastigrams to the editor.

  22. Rejoice,

    Maintain the faith – the polls show we are on track for the Gambino crime family to replace the Genovese crime family. Things are on the up and up.

  23. Were the figures released a day early so that they’d be buried in grand final celebrations and the long weekend in NSW?

  24. I thought the numbers may have been higher, especially with Abbotts opportunistic remarks about the North Shore hospital.

    It was in the same style as former liberal premier Sir Eric Willis who said after the Granville train tragedy that less people were killed in train accidents under the former liberal government.

    Willis resigned in the public outcry that followed, but in this case Howard endorsed Abbotts remarks.

  25. It appears the figures come from the usual Friday to Sunday polling, ie. 28 to 30 Sep. who nows why they have released them early?

    No anxious wait for ABC 7pm News or Lateline

    It is excellent news.

  26. The News Ltd. papers seem to be in full spin mode ever the poll, lots of use of creative english….

    I love the comment “Ministers don’t expect the poll to narrow until the election is called, and even then, only in the last few weeks”.

    They hoping for a hockey stick graph? I’ve worked for a few companies who had that graph in their financial plans – they all went out of business.

  27. ESJ @ 24

    There is no chance of the Nats forming government but a good chance of Ness and the untouchables getting in.

  28. I pretty-well completely agree with Shanahan’s case for Newspoll being the bellwether poll. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s the bet settler.

    Imagine if the weather report at 10am determined the whole day’s slant on matters meteorological. If it’s fine and sunny at 10am, then it doesn’t matter if a Southerly arrives at 10.30am, the temperature drops to 16 degrees and it rains for the rest of the day. Bet on the day’s weather would be settled at 10.01am and the evening news bulletins would be announcing “It was a lovely day in Sydelaide today.” Silly, I know, but that’s also what happens with Newspoll. Newspoll is used to start – or stop – arguments.

    It’s as if everybody agrees to abide by it’s findings. Individuals may not agree on those findings (many here don’t at times). There may even be more or less encouraging private polling that says different to Newspoll. But it seems the movers and shakers don’t care about their private opinion. They don’t care about what Newspoll thinks, but they do care about what they think others will think about Newspoll.

    From what I’ve seen Newspoll is no more accurate than other polls. Even the GG’s own journalists (when it suits them) will tell us that it shows a bias towards Labor. At other times their spruiking of miniscule movements (viz. the Preferred PM fiasco of a couple of months ago) is shameless. The chief spruiker is Dennis Shanahan, followed closely by Sid Marris.

    Well, they’ve made their own beds. They used a reasonably good Newspoll for Labor to get rid of Beazley last December. They built up expectations after APEC, Burkegate, Long Tan, Eumundiegate, Strippergate and Theresereingate.

    Shanahan says that back benchers have an unsophisticated understanding of polling (pot, meet kettle!). I’m not so sure of that. I just think it’s the de facto bellwether, the poll used to settle bets and ramp up ambitions (or close them down). It’s as useful as that 10am weather report I mentioned above. It has an undeserved reputation for accuracy and import.

    But as long as everybody uses it as a snapshot, to decide whether it’s fine and sunny or cold and wet for the rest of the day, it fulfills a function, as do Shanahan’s and Marris’s pontifications upon it, and for that matter Possum’s, who at the moment is under some criticism for making up 52 seat swings… His defence is, “That’s what Newspoll says.”

    Shanahan and the GG have created a Frankenstein’s Monster Poll. The idea was for it to show a narrowing. They can’t back away from Newspoll’s contrary findings that it’s a fine and sunny day for Labor now and a Perfect storm for Howard.

  29. #178 Sanjay the Omnipresent from phoney war. Yes, I have always suspected that about Adam being a Liberal stooge, especially when he was in denial about the hot button issues being 1. Work choices. 2. Global Warming 3. Nuclear Power.

  30. RBJ @ #26… “It was in the same style as former liberal premier Sir Eric Willis who said after the Granville train tragedy that less people were killed in train accidents under the former liberal government.”

    It was even better than that, arbie.

    He said that during his government only 7 (or some small amount) of people had been killed in rail accidents. The toll was already 84 under Labor.

    Labor had only been in government for a few weeks.

  31. Shanahan may be calmer on the lead article but he still can’t resist with the reference elsewhere today to the ‘forlorn hope’ – he should be honest and say his hope – that Rudd’s ‘sheen has lost some gloss’. Look…Rudd will indeed lose some of his sheen – around the end of his second term most likely.

  32. #14 HarryH

    no October sitting = no party room meeting = no leadership challange. That us unless Downer et al get ‘creative’ as Labor did in 1983.

  33. A general question about the poll date.

    We had Costello at the NRL grand final breakfast hinting strongly at the last week of November and the Liberal pollster on Meet the press on Sunday call it at 24 November then look sheepish that he did.
    This seems pretty emphatic to me but nobody else is firming on it. What do other people think?

  34. I love Dennis. You have to laugh when he calls Rudd’s performance in the last day of parliament “Shrill”. The friends I’ve talked to said it was nice to see him go on the attack and that he showed up Costello for the gutless wonder he is.

    I was just surprised he didn’t say anything about soft labour support.

  35. I agree with other posters here about the Australian today. I had to read the articles twice to be sure. Not a single negative for the govt anywhere. Matt Price is the only one who still has a sense of reality about him. The rest of them are in denial. But wait, there is still a circuit-breaker. Call the election, then we’ll see the real figures. Ha!

  36. From Dennis, “There is also a mounting view that Kevin Rudd will suffer the longer the election campaign runs.”

    Why Dennis, why? Where is your evidence … We’ve been hearing this statement in 400 different forms since Rudd took the leadership but nothing has changed.

  37. The bias is not exclusive to The Oz. Philip Coorey from the SMH sees grave dangers ahead for Rudd: Slip-ups leave Rudd vulnerable to attack

    “The polls have Labor, on average, leading the Coalition by between 10 and 12 percentage points. Despite this, there is a lot stacked against a Labor victory.”

    Presumably Howard with incumbency behind him, is just plain sailing all the way to victory.

    It is interesting to watch the MSM living in a parallel universe completely removed from reality. Has Phillip Coorey read the polls and does not understand numbers? Maybe numbers are just plain irrelevant on election day? And journalists get paid for this stuff?

  38. The mounting view of Rudd having a tougher time in the campaign (post 38) is due to the fact that the “mounting view” early in the year was that Howard would eventually wear down Rudd. If your options are narrowing, you have to grab at something, and that’s what the Coalition is doing. I’ve heard some backbenchers claim that while the polls might be bad, Crosby-Textor internal polling has them doing very well on the “name recognition” question. All it shows is the desperation for good news (remember Howard leaking the Eden-Monaro polling?) to boost morale in the government and give marginal MPs a reason to keep battling on.

    As for the conspiracy of the Australian trying to bury its story in the grand final coverage – come off the grassy knoll and head to Area 51! The closer to the date of the election, the more polls will be done with each paper trying to get an edge over the others. Nielsen will go to weekly once the poll is called, and with the possible dates to call the election fast disappearing, it appears the Australian just wanted to get a march on the others.

  39. Phillip coorey writes a stupid article in the SMH this morning. He’s rabbiting on abotu Rudd “gaffes”. This time Rudd’s claim to have not read certain GG news article about Papua New Guinea…

    “The Oz is hardly a widely read paper, but those in politics follow it assiduously.

    Either Rudd really hadn’t swotted up on the news, or he just said so to avoid commenting on the stories.

    The last bloke who made a habit of doing this was Kim Beazley and he was attacked mercilessly, including from within, for being lazy, ill-disciplined and not up to being leader.”

    I sem to remember a constant tactic of Howard is to claim exactly the same thing: ignorance of a newspaper article.

    Why the two standards?

  40. Dennis never fails to amuse.

    You know, all empirical evidence (eg ‘who do you think will win’ polls, and betting markets) suggests the average punter understands the polls far better than you Dennis, and your circle-jerk coterie of poll-owning , gatekeeping wankers posing as ‘experts’.

    You are all heading for a gross humiliation, GG. Turn around now, save some dignity! There is no bounce, there is no evidence to support any “mounting view” on anyting other than electoral trouble for yer man Rodent.

  41. Shanninigans says that the coalition must delay the election for as long as possible to try and gain support.

    He then… IN THE VERY SAME ARTICLE, says that the government should call the election immediately as the poll numbers weren’t getting any better the longer the campaign draws out.

    I can’t understand how announcing a date is going to improve things for the government.

  42. My guess about why Newspoll out today – they are sick of it being leaked to other news outlets and being released early!

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