Newspoll: 56-44

After 30 seconds of joy for Coalition supporters, Newspoll comes along a day early to rain on the parade. It shows no change whatsoever from a fortnight ago: Labor ahead 56-44 on two-party preferred, with a primary vote of 48 per cent to the Coalition’s 39 per cent. A small amount of solace might be taken from a 3 per cent increase in the Prime Minister’s remarkably resilient approval rating, now up to 47 per cent, and a rise in dissatisfaction with Kevin Rudd from 20 per cent to 24 per cent. However, both Howard and Rudd are up 1 per cent on preferred prime minister, with Kevin Rudd leading 48 per cent to 39 per cent.

Plaudits to James J for somehow finding the graphic before The Australian put its coverage online.

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.

477 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

Comments Page 9 of 10
1 8 9 10
  1. After reading Quiggan there are a few ways this can be attacked. A bit of a panic move I think to lead off with them. First, having already spent much of the surplus, where does the money come from for these cuts if the economy cools off? Other taxes would have to rise, or spending slashed again. Perhaps Howard should call them the “C-O-R-E core-promise tax cuts”.

    Also, someone should ask him if he is still promising that there will be no (more) interest rate rises with these cuts in place if he is re-elected. I thought it was basic economics that if you pump more money into an already overheated economy, interest rates will probably rise.

  2. SirEggo,

    Every indication so far has been that Labor is much more organised and prepared for this poll than any others before. Keiran Richardson on Sky said that yesterday morning, Labor HQ had sent him an e-mail with all relevant contact details on it – a simple act, but something that had not happened in 2004.

    Similarly, their reaction to the tax policy has been intelligent – no silly “off-the-cuff” reactions and a determination not to get sucked into a campaign defined by the PM. Whether this continues for the next 40 days will be another matter, but the early signs are good…

  3. Who would have thought that the Howard government would offer a whole stash of tax breaks right after an election has been called?

    I certainly didn’t see this coming! What’s next? Something about experience and boarder protection? The coalition will certainly keep us guessing until we hit the polls.

  4. [There is a real risk the Liberal campaign falls apart if he doesnt do something – hence todays announcement.]

    If the RBA increases interest rates on October 7th, then Howard’s entire campaign is derailed. It doesn’t matter what he has said before, or says after.

    Increased inflation figures from the A.B.S. next Wednesday would set the speculation in motion.

  5. Excuse me, Marky, the shadow treasurer in 2004 was Crean the Unseen. The “roosters” (Swan, Smith and Conroy) were shut right out of the policy loop by the L*th*m regime. The tax stuffup in the last campaign was entirely a L*th*m-Crean job. You can’t pin that one on Swan.

  6. I think Labor are doing well to hold their fire on this and wait for a proper analysis. Perhaps a modest tax cut to the lower income brackets (matching or exceeding the Coalition proposal). They should leave the higher bracket alone and use the money that would have been spent on a tax cut to fund infrastructure, education or health etc… Show that they can look after the battlers, that type of thing.

    Kina at 350: [Had to open up my Linux partition – XP freezing on me..grrr]
    …serves you right for booting into windows in the first place! 🙂

  7. How hard to reduce the GST? 34bill offers a lot of room for reduction. Everybody gets a little something, no one misses out. Spend the rest on infrastructure to increase the tax base.

  8. I think Labor should cut the highest marginal tax rate to at least the same level as the Coalition. It would shut down one of the business lobby’s arguments against Labor and it would help in Labor’s arguments that they are trying to make the economy more competitive.

    The other advantage of cutting the top marginal rate is that it’s cheap (relatively) to do so – I think they should reduce it to something with a 3 in front of it, just to give the business lobby something to think about. Either that or cut the corporate tax rate (though that will probably be more expensive).

  9. I know it’s childish of me, but I really resent that the lazy bugger won’t walk from the Lodge to Lake Burley Griffin as part of his morning walk. The ABC Midday News showed him getting into the Comcar at the conclusion of the walk/photo opportunity.

  10. Kina (372)

    Don’t be too sure the polls will be “up and down like a yoyo”. They have been stable now for months despite all the budget handouts back in May, Costello’s huge superannuation changes kicking in at the beginning of July, the tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent by the government on self promotion over the last five months, Howard’s forays into aboriginal affairs, all the pork barrelling and state bashing and the never ending smear campaign against Kevin Rudd and his wife.

    If this big policy announcement simply goes through to the keeper like everything else before it, Howard might just as well start packing his bags now.

  11. The killer line which makes it a bad day for the Tories was this from Costello which seems to make an interest rate rise more likely:

    “Mr Costello also announced the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

    Treasurer Peter Costello said since the last budget the growth forecasts for both 2006/07 and 2007/08 have been upgraded.

    “Growth in 2006/07 was expected to be 2.5 per cent. In fact the outcome was three and a quarter,” Mr Costello said.

    “Growth in 2007/08 was forecast to be three and three quarter per cent. The new forecast is four and a quarter per cent.”

  12. Well that looks good for inflation, interest rate rises and suffering for anyone with a loan – and even more suffering for anyone with a WorkChoices AWA and also subject to Unfair dismissal.

    Increase costs cut wages.
    Nice plan.

  13. Rudd on channel 10 news in Sydney has challenged Howard to three debates over the six week campaign period, instead of just the one dabate on pay TV in the first week of the campaign.

    As Rudd correctly pointed out, it is in the best interests of our democracy to debate major policies as they are released further into the campaign.

    The conservatives must admit the current system is a joke! It really is time for fresh thinking and new leadership.

  14. The proposed tax cuts are – like George Bush’s – heavily skewed in favour of upper income earners.

    I would have thought that one component of the general malaise – the mood which contemplates turfing out a government which has presided through relatively prosporous times – has been a disquiet at the perception that inequalities of income have unacceptably widened. If that is the case then even a cursory analysis of the Costello plan suggests that it might not be the longed for saviour of the coalition. It seems to be highly regressive.

  15. Sir Eggo (#384 & #400) & Marky Marky (#394) – I think that some of the mistakes last time for Labor were because Latham repeatedly ignored advice from the campaign team and went with his own gut feeling about what to say and do.

    This campaign is being run by professionals with a very hard-working and intelligent Leader. They’ve outplayed Howard for months. No reason to think they cannot continue to at least hold their own. Rudd would have had his tax cut reaction script ready before today’s announcement, even if he was slightly surprised to have to use it so soon.

  16. Labor needs friendlies to ‘go’ at the tax cut to keep its hands clean and from being wedged. Tax cuts for the rich etc whilst pushing up inflation and rates for everyone else.

  17. If Lab go anywhere near matching Costello’s tax cuts then they will be making a huge mistake. For every ‘moneybags of perth’ (@279) seduced by Fist-Full-Of-Dollars Mk 2 there are 10 voters who’d rather see the money spent on education, health, infrastructure, water and the environment.

    As for the media barking the government’s calls for Rudd to release Labor’s tax policy all he needs to do is remind the journos (and I use the term loosely) that treasury is yet to release the national account figures and it would be irresponsible and dishonest to announce policy that may not be fundable, especially considering ‘Fist-Full-Of-Dollars’ Howard lied through his teeth about what was in the kitty during the 1983 election campaign. If I remember right, then it only contained an old apple core and a near $10 billion IOU!

  18. [Labor needs friendlies to ‘go’ at the tax cut to keep its hands clean and from being wedged. Tax cuts for the rich etc whilst pushing up inflation and rates for everyone else.]

    If there is an interest rate increase on November 7, then that immediately cancels out the tax cuts.

    Rudd would be better off offering tax offsets for the mortage. Or a riskier option would be cutting petrol tax by a few cents a litre.

  19. I think it’s a little naive to suppose that Howard and co were just going to give up without a fight and let Labor win. They will fight back and since they are in government they have the ability to spring policy surprises. This will give them some wins. Of course they have pledged tax cuts – that’s what conservatives always do, especially when they’re trailing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have no opinion on the economics of it, but as a matter of pure politics it’s a big bribe to the middle class and we will have to wait and see whether it has any effect in the polls. I suspect it won’t, because the swing is coming mainly from the working-class (who don’t like WorkChoices) and the upper-middle-class (who don’t like lots of things, none of them to do with tax).

  20. Does anybody know who is on Rudd’s campaign team? I mean who is flying around with him? Stephen Smith? John Faulkner?

    Just wondering…

  21. Canberra Boy i somewhat disagree with. Latham did make mistakes.. but he had a labor party racked with factional dills, the CFMEU (construction, forestry mining & energy union) two days before an election whingeing about jobs and siding with Howard and Dick Adams doing the same… and Mr Lennon what a disgrace he was.. but it was all Lathams’ fault for at least going to an election with some fair dinkum labor policies. But as usual it was all Lathams’ fault..
    If anything lost the election it was poor policy response to an Interest Rate scare campaign and this alone cost Labor the election.

  22. Re the tax cuts:

    I’m sorry, I can’t agree with some here. Metooism won’t work. It was a brilliant strategy that has kept the LNP on the run all year.
    But the moment has arrived for Rudd to stand and dare to be different. This is not simply about trumping one another with policy and the winner gets the prize. It is about leading a Nation.
    He must challenge us to decide whether we want a society that is more than a bottom line. Whether we care about each other, or ourselves. Whether we want a nation that is divided by worth or united in opportunity.
    Yes to follow would be politically savvy but is it really politics we want? Surely to Christ this is what Howard has done to us. What legacy has this narrow vision left?
    Our schools are collapsing, our aged have nowhere to go, women are miscarrying in toilets and our troops are at war! Yet we are concerned about the politics of tax cuts?
    I am not for sale and am done with this pestilent blot and his mealy-mouthed servants who peddle smug sanctimony and fear.
    These tax cuts are an insult simply because it is assumed they will work. I for one want Rudd to seize the moment and lead. It is not tax cuts but ‘leadership’ we need.

    End of rant.

  23. Labor will not be wedged by trying to top Costello and then being accused of being economically irresponsible.

    The tax cuts offered today are nothing but a bribe and should be exposed as such.

  24. why dosent anyone pick up costello when he saysGrowth in 2007/08 was forecast to be three and three quarter per cent. The new forecast is four and a quarter per cent.”
    If he is such a great treasurer why dosent’t he know how much money the gov has got. is the job too hard for him or is he just incompatant

  25. Tax cuts???

    From the highest taxing government in Australias history in the middle of a mining boom!

    A monkey could do it.

    No innovation, no vision, the same predictable boring backward thinking old leadership.

  26. libsrok – they never picked him up when he had totally the wrong idea of how tax scales were applied yet they made a big deal out of Rudd having not memorised the tax scales [but not Howard or Downer when they didn’t know].

    Not much chance of Labor being wedged this year folks unless by pure circumstance beyond their control. I thought that I read in the past that they have already hinted a tax cuts that reward people and I think small business tax cuts. Anyway – a former Treasury official used to be on their team – he left but I gather they would have obtained someone similar.

  27. @431, Gecko

    I’m not trying to belittle your comments but it is hard to lead the nation from opposition.

    It would be hard for the opposition to not offer some form of tax cuts considering what the government are offering now. They can’t really target them at the lower end, this has been tried as an election tactic before and has failed due to the old lines about class warfare.

    The transformation of this country from “An earlier State to an opportunity State’ as Howard put it, is all but complete. All politics is about the individual now (when wasn’t it really?).

    Best for the Labor party to leave the piety to the Greens and do what they need to do, to get in the game.

  28. The tax cuts smack of desperation. So much given away, so soon.

    Rudd’s response should be, “Gee… they’re doing tax cuts? Who’d have guessed?”

    I keep getting this image of a tennis match, with the crowd’s heads moving left then right then left again, waiting to see who’ll trump who.

    Rudd really does need to break the chain here. He should put on his Fiscal Responsibility hat and say, “We’re waiting to see the figures.”

    He should definitely not panic.

    If Labor is to win they should have prepared for this. If they have not prepared for it, they don’t deserve to win.

  29. Please people, this is not 2004. Rudd has out thought and out manoeuvred Howard all year so is unlikely to fall apart now. Rudd would have known, like every joe blow citizen, that Howard would be throwing big dollars at the electorate in desperation, what else could he do other than meekly surrender, it really is bang or bust time for the libs now.

    Rudd has done the right thing in saying he will look at the detail and just let it wash through the system. He should just stick to his schedule and not be “spooked” into showing his cards any earlier than planned just because Howard wants to see what’s he’s got.

    This week will soon be forgotten in the long battle ahead and the most important time to have your policies in peoples mind is when they are voting. Like a bad lover they have popped their cork too early in my opinion, Rudd is wise to save the best for last I say.

  30. 436 Derek Corbett

    I personally think it went wrong for the Libs when they did not change leaders in the middle of last year. They had a chance to start fresh and they didn’t. OK, Peter Costello might not have been popular, but he had a year to convince the people he was OK.

    Where did it go wrong for JWH. A combination of not knowing when to go (i.e. put his own interests in front of the party’s), and father time running up and kicking him in the butt.

    As well as that, he underestimated his opponent (he probably stuck around last year on the assumption he would be against Beazley this election, which would probably be doing better). He probably didn’t think that Labor would get themselves organised (and neither did I for that matter). I don’t think he thought that Rudd would give him this much trouble.

    20 20 hindsight is a wonderful thing…..

    Who’s watching ther Exclusive Bretheren thing tonight? Has anybody heard of anything that can be, well, a little damaging from it?

  31. Just watched Howard interviewed in ACA.

    He didn’t look at all comfortable and when sprung with a question on the worm and then what the average weeks earnings were said “a little over 50,000, I think” which was followed up with a question on the current Reserve interest rate, answered it angrily and seemed to be fuming at the end.

    Loved it. It may be a long 6 weeks for him.

  32. Rudd got the same questions.

    Got both right and finished the interview with a smile.

    He also mentioned wanting the “worm’ in any debate (wants 3) because he believes people like it and it adds colour to the debate.

    There was no way Howard wanted it.

  33. [Labor’s plan to put trades training centres in schools is being ridiculed in education and business circles, federal Vocational Education Minister Andrew Robb says.

    While declining to name names, Mr Robb’s office said was being told by people within the sector that Labor’s plans to reform trades education would not work.

    Labor immediately hit back, saying the government’s Australian Technical Colleges could not address the shortage of 200,000 skilled workers over the next five years.]

  34. What’s showing through is Howard’s belief that he really shouldn’t have to be put through all this, that he should just be anointed for another term because he is so obviously superior to these Labor nincompoops. This is called h*br*s and it is what happens when you have spent too long in office. Costello, Downer and Abbott have it badly too. Keating had it too, but he carried it off better than Howard because he was younger. (That didn’t save him, of course.) The combination of h*br*s and age makes Howard look querelous and grumpy, like grandpa who can’t understand what all this fuss is about and where are my glasses anyway. He will also find the campaign physically tiring (no matter how fit he is, he is still 68) and that will make him more grumpy as it wears on. Rudd on the other hand is young(ish) and zealous. His problem is looking smug and cocky, which is how he is all the time, but it looks bad during the campaign. A couple of bad polls (not too bad of course) might actually be of benefit to Rudd, bring out the fighter in him and prevent the early onset of h*br*s.

  35. I thought Kerry gave Howard the harder time, and Howard got a little narky.

    No matter what people say, Howard has a knack for delivering the canned line like a spontaneous speech, Rudd still sounds like he has rehearsed in front of the mirror.

    Still, Kevin got a joke in and I thought came off better.

  36. I’d agree also Adam. I’d add that Labor needs to develop a snappier response to such grandstanding. It’s all well & good to say “we’ll announce our policy in good time” but you need to package that message with a bit of punch; “it’s an election, not an auction.”

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 9 of 10
1 8 9 10