Newspoll: 58-42

Tasmanian reader Econocrat tells of a stunning Newspoll result foreshadowed on tonight’s Lateline: 58-42 to Labor. More to follow …

UPDATE: Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has increased to 50 per cent to 37 per cent. Like the two-party figure, this is a 2 per cent change in either direction from last week. Preliminary reports at Sky News and The Australian.

UPDATE 2: Graphic here, Dennis Shanahan here. Kevin Rudd’s satisfaction rating has recovered three points after a dip last week; the Coalition’s lead on the question of best party to handle the economy has narrowed to 46-37 from 48-33 three weeks ago; its lead on best party to handle national security has unaccountably narrowed from 45-33 to 43-39; and Labor’s leads on education and health have widened considerably. No doubt much of this can be put down to a very Labor-friendly poll sample. Most interesting is a question on strength of voting intention which gives no reason to think the support for Labor might be “soft”.

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.

782 comments on “Newspoll: 58-42”

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  1. Economic policy released and countered, debate loss, worm controversy, bad poll, it will be an interesting week for the Liberals.

    The only traction they are getting in headlines relate to a $600 p/a difference in tax policy in 2012 – the media are reporting it, but by the tone they aren’t buying it.

    How many similar polls before the dissent reports start up? i.e. (‘Liberals sources reveal widespread dissatisfaction with the way the campaign has been run…’)

    The Libs need their polls to stay static or to edge toward them, not just because it reflects voting intention, but because it affects the media commentary on their policy – you don’t want headlines like ‘Embattled PM John Howard today released his childcare policy, matching Kevin Rudds ….’

    When I start seeing that sort of coverage, I know things are settled

  2. 650

    I think the problem with negativity is it only works if you have some nagging doubt on the topic at hand.

    Without that, negativity is just harping – and that is usually dealt with harshly – it could drive undecided to Labor.

    Secondly, Labor is astoundingly efficient at dealing with the negative points, they have counter ads/commentary out within MINUTES – this avoids the perception that they are hiding something and stops the attack from biting.

    If I remember the Tampa election, I have vague recollections of Beazley taking a long time to come out with a policy – and along the way there were reports of arguments within the labor party.

  3. Looks like this much anticipated narrowing thing is really working well for the Liberals. Week 2 of the campaign and they’re still on the ropes.

    Quelle surprise.

  4. 339
    Chris B Says:
    October 22nd, 2007 at 11:06 pm
    First thing, the scandal over worm gate is not included. Second thing the ALP/Unions haven’t launched their massive advertising campaign yet. This will blow out even further. Just wait. The last two weeks are when it starts. You ain’t seen nothin yet.

    Yes, blow out even further :):) I like that 😉

    Seriously, though, folks, I do not understand all of the chatter that results similar to or even better than this simply can not be repeated on election day. I know that Australia hasn’t had an election before with margins like this on election day, but who is to say that you won’t have this year as a new standard? Just because it *hasn’t* been done before doesn’t mean it can’t happen this time.

  5. “JOHN Howard has departed from the Government’s re-election script by deleting all references to Peter Costello in a personal letter sent to voters in the Prime Minister’s own seat of Bennelong.”

    Nothing illustrates the reluctance with which Howard has accepted the Costello partnership than that quote.

    It kind of remind me of that episode of the Simpsons where Ralph Wiggim chooses Lisa Simpson as his valentine. Ah, the unrequited love!

  6. I could almost call this poll an outlier:

    THe primary vote for Others is down 3 and the ALP primary is up 3

    Coalition primary only dropped 1 point.

    Basically, I don’t believe this one, I think the TPP is still at 54-46 …….

    which is a case of only mild slaughter of the LNP vote

  7. Not having read all comments, I don’t know if others have remarked on this, but in Dennis’ column,25197,22632102-601,00.html

    he covers both the voting intention and the “better on economics/security” stuff.

    Isn’t the latter normally saved for the following day, in order to get two days’ worth of headlines out of a poll? These things are expensive.

    Could it be that Dennis has decided, since it’s pretty much all bad news for Howard, to run them on the same day and then hope that the next one is a little better?

    I guess we’ll only know if a future poll turns up better material for JWH and Dennis reverts to the practice of splitting them over two days …

  8. I had expected Shanahack to go for the spin but he seems to have gone all quiet in the ‘tone’ he uses this morning. Yes he tries his best but the nugget wasn’t there in Newspoll to enable another “Rudd Juggernaut Slowed” or “The right tonic at the right time” headline to describe a 1% shift to JWH. Perhaps a quiver of the lip is in order Dennis?

    Gillard saying what she should at this stage – “we’re not focussing on the polls” (doesn’t matter if its a porky). And Abbott – “We must try harder”.:) Private polling apparently the saviour acc to the Monk.

  9. Abbot was on AM a few minutes ago telling us that Liberal Party private polling was better than the public polling of a week ago – presumably the Neilson 54/46 and Morgan 55/45.

    Can he right? If the Libs had private polls last week showing better than 54/46, surely they would have leaked them before now. But I can’t believe that Abbot would tell such blatant porkies – apart from anything else, it would be so easy to be found out.

    I was disappointed that the interviewer didn’t push him on it.

  10. ShowsOn, better be careful trading on Comsec over the next few days! Might be worth cancelling all your buy orders and wait and see what happens to the market. Could be a few great bargains in a few days.
    There are some fundamental changes happening overseas.
    Market uncertainty might just stay the Reserve Bank’s hand, although if that figure is 1.1%, that could outweigh it.

  11. Those who bleat that there is “no constitutional right of free speech” ought to read what the High Court has said in interpreting the constitution in certain case law, more specifically in relation to the right of political communication and broadcasters:

    Australian Capital Television & NSW v Commonwealth (1992) 177 CLR 106

    Freedom of communication as an indispensable element in representative government

    38. Indispensable to that accountability and that responsibility is freedom of communication , at least in relation to public affairs and political discussion. Only by exercising that freedom can the citizen communicate his or her views on the wide range of matters that may call for, or are relevant to, political action or decision. Only by exercising that freedom can the citizen criticize government decisions and actions, seek to bring about change, call for action where none has been taken and in this way influence the elected representatives. By these means the elected representatives are equipped to discharge their role so that they may take account of and respond to the will of the people.

    So, who had the right to pull the plug on channel 9, and by what authority in law ?(forget contract law, unless I’m mistaken, there was no “consideration” for a start.)

  12. Tony Abbot simply can’t believe the figures. He is in total denial.
    The figures are probably inflated by the fact that the poll was taken when all the headlines were proclaiming Kevin Rudd’s tax policy.
    It was a bit like the polls after he spoke in Mandarin and charmed everyone.
    They’ll probably come back to 56-44 or 55-45 in a week or two.

  13. Amused: Of course they would send out the Mad Monk to say the polls are bad and their polling is better. Soon he will be saying that more than 20% polled are union thugs and the real value of the polls is reversed. The guy can’t keep his mouth shut, and every time he speaks he tries to attack Gillard. I totally ignore what he says.

  14. A little Shakespeare for the Libs on the morning after a juicy newspoll 🙂

    [courtesy of Hamlet]

    “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions”. – (Act IV, Scene V).

  15. A stunning poll. Has any party polled so well during a modern campaign? (75? 77) Or more to the point, been close and lost?

    It must be at the max end of the possible range, if the 2 polls last week have any credence (and vice versa). There is obviously a fair amount of elasticity in voterland (a better concept than ‘soft’), which is probably to be expected given the parties convergence on so many issues.

    The hardness of support figures are interesting. 1 in 12 for both sides say there’s a significant/real chance they might change. Even if all of these flopped from Labor to Liberal (and none in return) the primary figure would be 46.5-42.5

    It is amusing to watch the Australian downplay the poll (which would otherwise be banner headlines – a la its treatment of Galaxy last week). Whilst other outlets play up the poll. The Australian’s boostering of Newspoll over the years has rather come back to haunt it.

  16. [what’s with that jacket Bolt had on? ] #427 Burgey

    Maybe a greater concern might be if Joffa rocks up somewhere with his gold jacket… Now that’s hubris we’ve got to guard against…

    For those concerned that the Advertiser and the Westpolls don’t show anything like that: see Possum’s analysis. The old wet Lib support in their green leaf seats is collapsing. And Howard has almost certainly reinforced that by desperately trying for the wedge-redneck support via Haneef, Save the aboriginal children and anti-Sudanese migrant dog-whistling.

    I’d suggest both Sturt and Boothby are at much greater risk than those Tiser pollings imply. Don’t have enough knowledge about WA and the Westpolls, but I think it might be a similar story.

  17. If the Worm is to be believed (and as per my initial post of yesterday I have grave misgivings) then people have stopped listening to Howard. It wasn’t so much that it was negative, it just flat lined most of the time. Which is worse for him, in a way, than if they were angry with him.
    Most of the polling seems to indicate this too – the swinging voters don’t hate Howard (whereas many of them did hate Keating), they just don’t connect with him any more.
    Gets back to another comment from yesterday – his biggest problem is, simply, that he seems too old.

  18. [Unfortunately, it is you lacking understanding. Australians do not have a right to free speech under the constitution.] #520

    Wrong, GP. It may not be written into the constitution but it’s become accepted. In the early 90s (I think) Keating led a push to ban political advertising, especially on television which can be emotional and misleading. It was overturned by the High Cort on the grounds that there was “… an implied free speech…” in the constitution. And that’s where it stands.

    Those of you complaining about Mabo and Wik being ‘making the law’ (which they weren’t) should remember that the High Court also made decisions such as this, which really enabled big money to dominate political advertising.

  19. As for Abbott saying that he “understands” Liberal private polling is better than the published polling – didn’t we read from a number of sources that Howard and Longnane are now holding Crosby/Textor polling and research to themselves following the leaked Crosby/Textor Powerpoint presentation?

    On this basis, Abbott’s “understanding” would be based upon what Unkie Howard is telling him. And we know from Janette that Howard will say a lot of things to get what he wants…

  20. 678 Dyno There was another worm done about two months ago, by a top US researcher using different methods of selecting the audience. The results were almost identical. Every time Kevin Rudd appears on a TV program he breaks records. That may explain why the worm went up when people saw him.

  21. Dyno (678) is right: nobody is listening to Howard. I thnk there’s a shut-off reflex going on. Two nights ago, Rudd proved that he’s your new Australian idol. By being articulate, smart, optimistic, and having plans. I think that Howard doesn’t know how to run a positive campaign – mainly because maybe he never had to – he can’t win this by making the ALP look bad. I think he’s the face of an Australian politic that’s falling away. I don’t think there’s an anti-Howard vote, I just think there’s a seachange in Auistralian voter habits. And I think that people have just stopped listening.

    For what it’s worth, sometimes it’s just better for your party to lose. Time in opposition is healthy. I mean, I think we’re looking at the birth of a three term government (minimum), but I think that the LNP need to lose; workchoices showed that they can’t dance with the ones what brung ’em.

  22. In celebration of Howard’s recent embracing of the power of symbolism I predict a surge in sales of cricket bats – baseball bats would be un-Australian…

  23. It’s not over till the Rodent squeals on Nov 24.

    We all remember the jump a few months back to 59/41 then straight back down 2 weeks later!!!

    This may or may not be an outlier or a trend but I fully agree with enjoying it while it lasts!!!!

    Go get them Kev!

    Bring on 24th November.

  24. Oh this is rich ….. just heard on the radio that Costello has asked Swan for a debate next week Tuesday and has also said that he will debate Rudd ….. {so since Rudd brought that up first, Rudd might get it now :):) }

    What makes next Tuesday any better than last night at 7:30 on Lateline?

    Is there anyone around who has any insight to what might be the significance of next week Tuesday for Costello and by extention, the Libs?

  25. Julie – I would guess general panic as much as anything. They are now realising that debates were only going to help them, and again Rudd has played the superior tactics.

  26. Help them tactically being so far behind, rather than with their outcome I mean. Again, too late, that boat has sailed, the Libs are again the followers bleating ‘me too’ at Kevin from the shore.

  27. Don wigan @ 682

    I’m no constitutional lawyer, but I’m pretty sure the implied right to free speech has been construed very narrowly by the High Court. It has been shown to give protection against defamation proceedings for citizens discussing the merits of candidates for office, and not much else. So my decidedly naive, non-expert view is that it would take a considerable widening of previous interpretations to be able to apply it in this case.

  28. I’m sure someone must have said so up there somewhere [points] but it seems to me that while this is a ‘lovely set of numbers'(TM) the most likely interpretation is that last weeks Nielsen was at the low end of the MOE and this is at the high end, and in fact after a week of the campaign things are still where they have been since February, about 56-44.

    (Which of course is great news for Labor.)

  29. I would argue the ACTV case has no relevance to the worm debate. I would argue any idea of an implied freedom of political communication is in regard to the actions of government bodies, not private companies. To suggest that the principal would extend to contractual arrangements between a group of companies is a bit of a stretch.

    Furthermore, I find it at least questionable as to whether the current High Court would find any implied right to freedom of political communication. Remember that the Court is not bound to follow any of its previous decisions and has recently shown a willingness to depart from decisions made during its ‘activist’ stage.

    In regard to Abbot’s comments relating to internal polling… it doesn’t surprise me that their polling would suggest a better result for them. It’s hard to imagine they could be worse. However, I just don’t believe their internal polling is so widely different from the published polling that there will not be between 8-10 seats gained by the ALP at this election, and several other seats with their margins drastically reduced.

    Remember, also that we recently had a leak suggesting the Coalition internal polling is showing a 10.6% swing away from them since the last election. It’s up to you whether to believe one leak over another.

    I still am a bit concerned about the seat-to-seat polling. Although I think the recent Westpoll could be slightly off I don’t think the ALP will be banking on WA to win the election for them. The Advertiser results are not bad at all, and coupled with recent rumblings that Grey is at risk it certainly demonstrates the bad situation the Coalition are in.

  30. Oh… and I presume the Liberal Party supporters not on the inside of the party will be reacting to this poll much the same as Labor supporters reacted to ACN and Galaxy last week. I assume they think its wrong but are very worried, and if things don’t improve will start taking their frustration out on the party and suggesting ways to improve their campaign.

  31. I find it at least questionable as to whether the current High Court would find any implied right to freedom of political communication. Remember that the Court is not bound to follow any of its previous decisions and has recently shown a willingness to depart from decisions made during its ‘activist’ stage.

    In this case, my (again naive) opinion is that rather than directly overturn it, the High Court has and wil respect the original judgement, but narrow its interpretation at every opportunity and never widen it.

  32. There’s a part of me that’s just waiting for liberal unity to crumble. Because of John Howard they’re getting eaten alive. And Rudd’s got 50% PPM. If Rudd keeps over 50%, and the Libs primary vote stays in the toilet, then the last three weeks of the campaign are going to be….interesting, psephologically speaking, of course

  33. Much said about the biased wormers at Ch9.
    But observing that, say, 80% of the electorate will vote as they always have, then three quarters of the remaing 20%, according to the polls is shouting Labor.
    This gives, say 55/45. No surprises here.

    And here’s the rub for Gerard Henderson et al – even a very rough sample of swinging voters is going to split 75/25 to Labor. Just what the washup from Sunday showed.

    This blindingly obvious fact has eluded all the MSM. But what would they know?

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