More Newspoll entrails exposed

The Australian has produced another set of Newspoll geographic and demographic breakdowns, suggesting we will be getting such figures compiled from the previous two weekly surveys each Thursday. That means both today’s breakdown and last Thursday’s were half composed of the October 26-28 survey. To produce these figures, Newspoll has increased its samples from 1000 to 1700, the extras coming from smaller states so that each has a credible sample of between 650 and 700 over a fortnight. As well as this, Newspoll is evidently doing more specialised surveys on weekdays for publication on Saturday (sometimes, at least – there was no such survey at the end of week two). So far we have been given the Bass and Braddon polls that appeared at the end of week one, along with last weekend’s marginal seats survey. The Australian’s editor Chris Mitchell, or someone who did a very good impression of him, appeared in comments a few days ago saying the latter exercise would be repeated later in the campaign.

The chart below shows how Newspoll’s projected swings to Labor have tracked out since the middle of last year. It seems that with the exception of Western Australia, the figures were closely knotted together until the election was announced, at which point they scattered: the swing has held firm in Queensland and South Australia, but returned to earth in New South Wales and Victoria. This provides corroborating evidence which had previously been lacking for the relatively mediocre NSW swing in the weekend’s marginal seat poll. That the Victorian swing is now level with Western Australia’s is perhaps more of a surprise. And then there are those swings in Queensland and South Australia, which seem firmly set in double figures. If that’s the case, Queensland will almost deliver Labor the election single-handedly, with 14 seats to fall from a uniform swing of 11 per cent. In South Australia, every figure Newspoll has produced since Rudd became leader suggests Labor should win big in Sturt and Boothby, a prospect most informed observers seem reluctant to countenance.

Last night’s comments action also brought forth some purported intelligence on Labor internal polling, which you can read here and here. This may of course be a red herring of one kind or another, but my instinct is to take people who name themselves after Ramones songs at their word.

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.

1,157 comments on “More Newspoll entrails exposed”

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  1. Eventually Labor have started to talk about the dollar value in your wage. Rattua Rattus can scurry about all he likes and tell us all what he meant he said ( anyone remember that Two Ronnies song – We knew what she mean’t, but we heard what she said). And still more than two weeks to go – will they be able to hide the rat away – after all the gaffes – which Liberal will be last one left standing?

  2. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see if the swing in the NSW and Victorian mortgage-belt marginals will still be this low in the first poll after the interest rate rise.

    There is an obvious temptation for Labor to mount a scare campaign about a likely second rise but I hope they stay positive instead.

  3. This says three things to me
    The chance of Labor getting control of the senate is small.
    Iemma has influenced this election.
    Queensland swung so hard last time it was bound to swing back to the local boy, Coalition need to capitalise on his mistakes when up there to find a hot issue to bring some back to the fold.

  4. Indeed, Queensland will deliver Rudd the Prime Ministership almost by itself, on these numbers. South Australia is so good as well that it will seal the deal. At least 5 seats will go there. Even in Vic and WA where the swing is not so great, we can expect some pickups for Labor. This is most definitely going to be a Ruddslide.

  5. Hi Brissy Rod,

    How could forget Tasmania….

    Newspoll says naumbers for Tasmania are inlcuded in Victoria.

    Is it therefore reasonable to assume the Victorian numbers overstate the ALP position?

  6. $1.30 on Labor is about 100 times better than bank interest…and tax free. Just think, 30 % for 3 weeks … That’s an annualised return around 500%.

    Everyone, extend you mortgage, plonk a massive sum on Labor, get out and vote early and often, and on 25 November, collect the return and reduce your debt. Can your self managed super fund make such and investment?

  7. Good move that, putting a Queensland boy in the driver’s seat. A parochial vote in a state where even getting to just 51/49 TPP delivers seven seats to Labor.

    Not to take anything away from Kevin’s skills. I am full of admiration so far.

  8. Peoples… Forget the over-analysis. Trying to pick state or seat swings and there whether Labor get 80 or 90 seats is like trying to work out whether it will be Ponting, Gilchrist or Symonds who gets the runs in the test and whether its Lee or Magill who gets the wickets. Who cares…the team will deliver.

  9. My Liberal party insider told me a week ago (the transcript is here someone on one of these threads) that the party was in deep doo-doo in SA and Qld.

    All this would seem to bear it out.

  10. I think that the high household debt levels and dreadful personal savings rate under Howard that will crucify any scare campaign Howard tries to run. Seems too many people made themselves asset rich and income poor. What I can’t understand is why has the Government and the Reserve Bank taken action against these high houshold debt levels rather than just note them and do nothing.

  11. The inclusion of Tasmania in Victoria would seem to distort Vic a little.
    Most states show a drop in support for the Greens since last election typicallly about a 40% drop eg 5% down to 3%.

    Victoria bucks that trend but I suspect that is the Tasmanian effect.

    I wonder if this is being factored into senate predictions.

  12. The Iemma Govt in N.S.W is getting hammered in the media for everything fom public hospitals to the dept of community services, so this might be impacting slightly on Rudd’s vote in this state. The Ruddster is in Eden Monaro today, the Rodent in Melbourne.
    It’s interesting the media yet hasn’t focused on Sturt: Christopher Pyne would seem to be in a heap of trouble!

  13. The “aggregate impression” idea will gain a lot of traction, negatively. This is Howard thumbing his nose at people who trusted him. It won’t go down well.

    Howard’s problem is that he cannot admit he made a mistake. Never has been able to. Even yesterday’s “Sorry” was more of an observation than an apology.

    I believe that is appropriately called “hubris”.

  14. P.S. Day #3 of no ciggies.
    Seems like 3 years so far, but getting easier. Thanks to all who’ve encouraged me. Your support’s been great and has been a REAL help.

    You don’t realise just how much having a fag punctuates your life and gives you excuses for putting things off. The aim, I think, is to find something to do to fill the spare time you now have.

  15. I have questioned a number of times on this blog why the NSW poll results for Labor were so high, given the obvious unpopularity of the State Government and that it’s Howard’s home state. No-one ever provided me with a reply. Perhaps the truth is that the NSW swing isn’t is big as people were making out.

    And I was also confident that Queenslanders (from whom I am descended) would vote in droves for the local PM. That also appears to be happening.

    On these state breakdowns, it does appear that Labor will win, but it’s possible no-one will be claiming victory or conceding defeat till very late in the late, when the WA results come in.

    Still a bit early to make definitive predictions, with the campaign launches and the effect of the interest rate rise still to affect the polls.

  16. Queensland will not deliver labor that many seats at all. The recent Galaxy poll of the queensland marginals shows this. Most of the sitting coalition MP’s in QLD are popular local members with a high profile in the community. The newspoll figure for QLD to me seems a bit rogueish.

  17. Anyone think Rudd will match or beat the Coalition’s promise on parental leave? That’s about the first decent policy I’ve heard them put out in about 10 years. I would like to see something similar or better from Labor, and would have expected that they’d have something in the pipeline (there were rumours about this Coalition policy a couple of weeks ago).

  18. 6% swing to ALP in Victoria.

    Victoria historically is a small swinging state where normally anything over 3% is a landslide.

    One thing that may be being the NSW swing back is the Liberals appear to be putting extra effect into it’s heartland seats e.g. North Sydney.

    I also think the Lemma Govt is less popular than any other State Govt but when all is done and dusted if the ALP pick up half-a-dozen seats in NSW they should be nicely placed to win over-all.

    Onto other matters – I don’t think the latest interest rate rise will hurt the Govt for the previous five have already turned voters towards the ALP.

    What this rate rise will do is cement the primary vote numbers making any late swings one way or another less likely.

  19. After hearing Howard and the coalition adds, Labor should just confront his claims directly now.

    He says “who do you trust to manage interest rates (when they are high)”.

    Labor should respond: John Howard has lied about everything consistently throughout his time in office (no GST, children overboard, Workchoices, now record low interest rates). He couldn’t be trusted last time, why would you trust him now?

    Labor’s theme song shouldn’t be “Its Time”.
    Rather the Who’s “Don’t Get Fooled Again”.

  20. Newspoll shows labor to pick up 6-7 seats in NSW, but should be more on the night.

    And have yet to see the reaction to Howards latest interest rate increase and the usual dodging of responsibility for it.

    Nothing displays the cold calloness of the libs than their response to the interest rate rises.

    The typical comment is that if home owners can’t handle the $125 per month mortgage increase of this latest rise they shouldn’t have bought their house in the first place.

    However, this is the sixth increase since Howard promised to keep interest rates at record lows, an extra $750 per month, and the tenth increase in a row, an extra $1,250 per month.

    Even the most fervent liberal would surely be feeling the pain of an extra $1,250 a month, maybe not, maybe mummy’s and dahdies trust fund covers that.

  21. The polls in WA have shown a consistent swing of about five percent to the ALP. If this holds WA will deliver a gain of two seats [Hasluck and Stirling] to Rudd.

  22. Things are getting closer in WA. The ALP vote is up over 10% across the State since 2004 election and approaching 6% on TPP. Donkey vote and absence of Graeme Campbell might just tip Sharon Thiel over the line in Kalgoorlie.
    ‘Labor View from Broome’

  23. Kev

    I reckon labor will pick up at 4-5 in WA, Kalgoorlie will be close as you say and Forrest could go to an independent.

    Anything on Pearce?

  24. Like some above, I too am a little perplexed by the NSW ‘clawback’, (and as a certain arboreal marsupial would say, WTF is going on in Vic?). Still if Arbie Jay @ 29 is correct, NSW will top off nicely the big gains in QLD and SA. Any body keen to venture a state by state tip on seats gained?

  25. I think that the Iemma Govt has little do with reducing the swing – influences only Liberal voters. The bottom line is that Iemma was returned in March despite the enormous negative swing.

    The numbers which are not discussed is not just the outlier values, but those values which are in the 65-85 percentile. I’m amused to see housing loans quoted at $200K because in most of the big Liberal areas, forgetting Western Sydney, the loan values are much higher. I bet these people can be panicked like a flock of sparrows. These are the people which can be swung back to Labor in the last week with a decent scare campaign, or even just letting a few sloppy Liberal ministers loose on the electorate.

  26. ifonly #16

    Are Tassie figures included in the Victoria numbers? In the legend to the table, it just says Tasmiania figures are included in the total.

    Maybe the Victoria figures do show a 6% swing by themselves, which should yield at least 2 seats to ALP.

  27. I worry sincerely that Labor is making a strategic error by continuing to engage heavily on the interest rate issue now that the rise is yesterday’s news.

    My advice, for what it’s worth: Let the rate rise speak for itself, let Howard’s apology speak for itself, and change the subject as quickly as possible.

    I know that sounds absurd to many but this is the logic:

    Many voters with little interest in politics swung over to Rudd because they felt SAFE to do so. Rudd looked safe because he looked, as has been widely observed, a lot like Howard. Intensive focus on economic management where the Coalition has a clear lead in all polling will just serve to undermine this sense of feeling safe – irrespective of the substance of the discussion.

    What Labor does NOT want this weekend is chat around the BBQs of marginal electorates where voters are indeed scratching to find the extra $40 or $50 a month along these lines:

    “So Dad, is it really true that rates got up to 17 per cent the last time Labor was in?”

  28. Parental leave and Grand-parental leave – from Howard and Costello – it’s a con! Have they explained how that one fits into SerfChoices, does it apply to all companies, what about casuals. Maybe for the employees of Macquaire Bank. Can it be negotiated away?

    For crying out loud – these guys are desperate.

  29. This is not to suggest that any polls relied on, owned by and/or published by News Limited are necessarily dodgy, simply it is a matter of interpretation.

    The psychological effect of having an indication of a runaway win to Labor this far from the polls encourages people, i.e. gives them “permission” if you like, to vote ALP.

    What comes in to play is the atavistic phenomenon of the herd instinct. Human beings, like horses and wolves, are social animals where survival has always depended on belonging to a group. This is deeply ingrained in the primitive brain.

    A significant percentage of people will vote on the perception of what other people will do.

    This is why the News Ltd columnists such as Dennis Shanahan and the Poison Dwarf write absurd interpretations of the trend in a rearguard defence of Coalition seats – trying to save as many as possible so it will be easier next time to win back government. Why? News Ltd makes more money with a Coalition government in power.

  30. Another slogan:
    In order to get an honest government, we need a new government.

    In order to get a government we can trust, we need a new government.

    If interest rates do go higher, who do you trust to keep their promises?

  31. Sir Henry 41

    Quite right. I sometimes wonder at what point Shanahan and Bolt just come clean, resign their jobs, and take positions as full time campaign workers for Howard? I wonder if they even see themselves as journalists any more? Maybe they believe if a cause is worthwhile, it is worth deceiving people for.

  32. I agree Flash [37]

    Get back on to education, environment and “values”

    Let the interest rate rise undercut the government on its own

  33. 28

    [Labor’s theme song shouldn’t be “Its Time”.
    Rather the Who’s “Don’t Get Fooled Again”.]

    People would no doubt draw attention to the part of the lyrics that says “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”…

  34. On interest rates:

    It’s not the 17% interest rate line that Labor needs to counter, it’s the BS that scrapping workchoices will push up interest rates. Most people are willing to discount events that happened over 15 years ago, but the government’s scare on interest rates and Labor’s IR policy might fool some people.

    Kevin Rudd’s line that interest rates have gone up every 15 weeks since the introduction of workchoices is the one he needs to hammer.

  35. Bushfire Bill – keep it up, fantastic effort so far. Get out and get the blood pumping sometime today, celebrate the continuing decline of the rodent.

  36. Xulon

    Good point! I suppose Howard would liek Cat Stevens “Father and Son”. Its not time to make a change… He could do a duet with Costello for added irony.

  37. Ross Gittins today:

    Although Labor is hardly any better, Mr Howard has form when it comes to misleading the electorate about interest rates. Is it so gullible as to be conned two elections in a row?

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