ACNielsen: 52-48 to Labor in Wentworth

The Fairfax broadsheets today carry an ACNielsen poll from Wentworth taken from an impressive sample of 900. It shows Labor’s George Newhouse leading Malcolm Turnbull 52-48 on two-party preferred, with primary votes of 45 per cent for Turnbull, 36 per cent for Newhouse and 17 per cent for Greens candidate Susan Jarnason. Minor party preferences favoured Labor over Liberal by 86-14, which seems a little much.

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.

836 comments on “ACNielsen: 52-48 to Labor in Wentworth”

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  1. [ it’s possible to win on 25% of the 2PP ]

    Yeah, and it’s also possible that Aliens might use their mind control ray guns to make everyone vote for the Nuclear Disarmament Party or Jesus by return before Saturday and make us all vote Family First. A great many things are possible. It’s what is probable which is important.

  2. Let me tell you LTEP, Labor has a far greater chance of receiving 54% TPP and gaining winning 100 seats than getting 54% TPP and losing the election.

  3. Kina – for %^*#’s sake, NO-ONE HERE (as far as I can see) is saying that people should be voting Howard because Rudd is somehow an “unknown quantity”.

    The question is whether it’s time for the media to stop letting him get away with sloganeering and appearances on Rove and stage managed school visits and start nailing him on policy and philosophy (and no, no pre-prepared essays for the Monthly, actual cross-examination in interviews and the like) – because frankly once he’s PM it’ll only gets harder to pin him down.

  4. In a political system where there is basically just a binary choice based on limited information, and granted that we live in an imperfect world, the selection is going to come down to the lesser of two evils. Sometimes, this can work to the advantage of the incumbent. But this time, it is working to the advantage of the newcomer.

    People may not be “viscerally” opposed to the government. But this does not mean the electorate will not contemplate or welcome change. There is disaffection with Howard. This is undeniable: look at his dissatisfaction rating.

    And there is a sub-text: Howard should have gone last year and will not last another two, even if he does win the election. People will not want to reward his obstinacy and, in so doing, guarantee a new round of leadership instability during the next parliament.

    So the Liberals have messed up their chances. It is too late for them now, cling as they might to hopes of a last-minute-miracle.

  5. Re 664,

    Lose the election please Says:

    November 19th, 2007 at 3:54 pm
    Julie @ 630

    Funnily enough you don’t need to support a particular party to predict them winning. I think it’ll be close but still don’t see anything which suggest its impossible for the Coalition to win. Unlike some people I think Labor can lose on 54% of the 2PP.

    Do you have the bar stocked up in case you are wrong? 🙂

  6. #690

    Perhaps a better understanding of what I mean can be gleaned from this statement: I am deeply afraid of Australia ending up with our own version of Tony Blair.

    I am quite confident that is what we are getting. I am not sure exactly what we can do about this!

  7. PB, Rudd is being given the benefit of the doubt by the whole country, not just the media. And why not? Howard and Co have enjoyed this benefit in the past and have abused it. It’s Rudd’s turn to show what he can do. The people are willing, even if you are not.

  8. Not really, paul k. Any good risk assessor assesses all possibilities, not just the probable outcomes. I still think Rudd isn’t acting like they’re behind in their internal polling. If they were I’d imagine he’d be making much more drastic and dramatic moves.

    Most people would’ve thought it unlikely the Coalition would win 4 Senate seats in Queensland at the last election. Yet there we go… with Trood warming the backbenches.

    Julie… I don’t drink alcohol.

  9. ABC news had a bemused Ron Boswell complaining that voters were not responding to coalition policies: “We have everything to sell … everything …”

    I thought everything had been sold?

  10. #639


    It is allready excluded

    Here are some exclusions found in home and contents policies.

    excluding loss or damage caused by:

    the sea

    tidal wave

    atmospheric or climatic conditions.

    landslide, subsidence or erosion.

    Most people don’t understand that the inurance companies’s allready know the risks and have allready excluded them, have a read of your own policy.

    Thats why I would not buy a property that is at risk from these types of events.

  11. Did JHo tell this to the Koreans the other day?

    [Prime Minister John Howard must explain to Australians why his party is preferencing One Nation in two NSW seats, ALP federal frontbencher Anthony Albanese says.

    Mr Albanese said Mr Howard had broken a promise made in federal parliament in 2001 to put the divisive and extreme One Nation Party last.]

  12. PB, Rudd is being given the benefit of the doubt by the whole country, not just the media. And why not? Howard and Co have enjoyed this benefit in the past and have abused it. It’s Rudd’s turn to show what he can do. The people are willing, even if you are not.

    Nice that you’re here are their representative. And here I thought I was one of them…

    Why not? Because until we stop giving our leaders “the benefit of the doubt” we will continue to fall behind other democracies in terms of transparency and accountability.

    We should have seen ministers go, if not governments fall, over all of the following:

    – AWB
    – Haneef (and particularly Andrews’ attempts to lie and manipulate his way out of it, with AFP assistance)
    – Iraq
    – Repeated illegal imprisonment of innocent Australian citizens in our nightmarish immigration system

    …and on it goes.

    We’ll get the same treatment from Labor in a few years unless we start holding them to a higher standard now.

  13. LTEP,

    If Labor wins anything less than 100 seats on Saturday night I think you’ll be suicidal. ” But they’re only 60 seats in front ” you’ll be saying. Your posts are so depressing I feel like slitting my wrists after I read them.

  14. Patrick

    A valid question. If more journalists had been competent enough to ask such questions of Howard in 1996, he would never have been elected.

    As for Rudd, I think you can work out what he values most. To my observation Health, Education, modernity in general, and environment do seem to be genuine values, as is global engagement. Fiscal conservatism is an obvious trait, but not really a value as such – its a means to an end; a necessary operating practice. Other issues seem rather less in importance to him AFAIK, even including industrial relations. This is not surprising given that he has no background in the union movement at all, and started as a public servant in foreign affairs. The nerdiness is genuine (dux of school and 990 TE score; highest you could get in Qld I believe) and the poor childhood obvioulsy gave rise to a burning ambition. He seems to be concerned about social justice in terms of combating poverty, but doesn’t seem very bothered about egalitarianism. So its education and justice for all, not necesarily equality from a Rudd government.

    I don’t think he has a strong idealogical view of political philosophy; I see no evidence of it. Mind you, not that many figures on Oz politics do these days IMO, at least compared to major figures in the past like Keating, Whitlam, Fraser or Killen. Maybe Gillard and Lindsay Tanner does in Labor today, but most of the true liberals (as opposed to conservatives) seem to have been exterminated from the Liberals in the Howard era. Bruce Baird was one of the last good ones IMHO.

  15. Revenge of the nerds! Yay! 🙂

    I love this election 🙂

    Ok, I’m off to indulge in some retail therapy. be good while Im out 🙂

  16. Wonder if the ALP will make an advert of this?
    Prime Minister John Howard says if the Coalition wins Saturday’s federal election a future Labor government would never be able to repeal the Government’s controversial WorkChoices legislation.

    Mr Howard has delivered his final pitch for votes in Western Australia, during a speech to the local branch of the Liberal Party.

    He says returning a Coalition Government is crucial to keep the country’s workplace reforms in place.

    “If we win on Saturday then the reforms that we have brought about will never be reversed by a future federal Labor government,” he said.

    “They will become part of the furniture. They will become so embedded in our business and workplace culture that no future Labor government would be able to reverse them.”

  17. If you take out the two WA seat results from that Morgan marginals poll, which had a 3% swing to Lib, I think the overall swing across the 20 marginals polled in the Eastern seaboard states + Tas + SA would be at least 8.5%. That’s in line with Newspoll in the Oz on Sat.

  18. Can I just indulge in a bit of hypothetical maths?

    Lets say, for arguments sake that the House of Reps is divided into 150 seats, each is 90,000 voters, totalling 13,500,000 voters altogether (I appreciate there is some variation, but bear with me here).

    Howard could win the election by winning 76 seats with only 45,001 voters in each seat equalling a total of 3,420,076 voters preferring Howard in total.

    This equates to 25.33% of the 2PP (or 3,420,076 out of 13,500,000). Stuff the seats Labor wins, they can be lost by 100% of the vote.

    This means that to be sure, the ALP really needs a 2PP vote of somewhere in the vicinity of 75% vs 25% for the Tories.

    I haven’t seen a poll showing the ALP with 75% of the 2PP preferred vote. There is some ammo for the pessimists…..

  19. 718 – I entirely agree with your sentiment about the need for greater political accountability. The probelm is how to achieve greater transparency when it is the politicians who have to ensure same yet it is they who stand to lose most from being more accountable? Seems to imply some sort of apolitical body as a watch dog ‘keeping the bastards honest’.

  20. Whenever I hear people talk about how Rudd hasn’t been exposed to media scrutiny I feel like I’ve entered the twilight zone.

    On my planet the front pages of the newspapers every day have slammed Rudd for some “gaffe” that turns out to have nothing to it, accused him of being disengaged when he doesn’t raise his voice and being shrill when he doesn’t and blahblahblah and oh no here is a new scandal involving strippers or his wife’s job or who he had lunch with. They have trawled everything he’s ever said or done or picked out of his ears and eaten and they have thown everything at him day after day for a year and couldn’t break him. Then they say he hasn’t faced any scrutiny? It’s insane.

  21. Media complaints about Rudd not being sufficiently put under scrutiny are indicative of a media grown fat and lazy through years of simply relying upon the Government of the day offering up access on its own terms. If they want to investigate/question/probe etc, get out there and do some questioning/investigation/research.

    In other words BE JOURNALISTS not simply blank-canvasses for politicians to repeat their standard lines to.

    If Rudd wont appear on your particular program, go out asking some hard questions about this to other MPs or public servants. I’m pretty sure if you did some digging and started turning up some “pattern of behaviour” of avoiding scrutiny and this got traction in the media, Rudd would be forced pretty quickly to come on your show.

  22. Asanque, doesn’t really matter after you’ve given a higher preference to Labor. It’s not going anywhere else.

  23. Thanks GB. Just read 664. LTEP, if you want to indulge in pure mathmatical fantasies, why be so pessimistic about it. The ALP could get a TPP of 46% and still win.

    But back here in the real world, if the ALP gets 54% trust me, there’s going to be a lot of spare seats on the coalition side of the House when parliament resumes next year.

  24. “The question is whether it’s time for the media to stop letting him get away with sloganeering and appearances on Rove and stage managed school visits and start nailing him on policy and philosophy (and no, no pre-prepared essays for the Monthly, actual cross-examination in interviews and the like) – because frankly once he’s PM it’ll only gets harder to pin him down.”

    Come on can we please be serious and stick to the actual reality we are in. The media are consistently harsher on Rudd than they are on Howard.

    It smells to me like you are seeking a paradigm shift on the eve of an election, well frankly you don’t deserve it.

    I have complained before, probably here, definitely at ozpolitics before it lost the comments, that a lot of people who have put up with utterly ridiculous tripe from this government that has just been repeated by the media who wouldn’t admit today is Monday if Howard called it Tuesday CANNOT now expect Rudd to make everything good again. It is both unreasonable and unfair.

    Yes now it looks like Howard might lose you’ve all rediscovered rule of law, open and accountable government, freedom of information, truth, justice and the Australian way and you want them back after 11 years of passive acceptance of complete lies and rubbish from this Government.

    You expect Labor who collectively has been left in the wilderness for 11 years to now rediscover the things that have been missing. Well you don’t deserve them back. We don’t deserve them back. It is contrary to Labors interests to give them back. You’ve, we’ve shown no interest in repudiating lies, in repudiating racism, in repudiating the breakdown of the rule of law (it hasn’t even been gradual boys and girls Howard has been smashing it with a wrecking ball). Labor has supported much of this as have the general population. You can’t go back to the past.

    If the future is all stage managed lies you have only yourself to blame.

  25. The question is whether it’s time for the media to stop letting him get away with sloganeering and appearances on Rove and stage managed school visits and start nailing him on policy and philosophy (and no, no pre-prepared essays for the Monthly, actual cross-examination in interviews and the like) – because frankly once he’s PM it’ll only gets harder to pin him down.

    Well it is not only Rudd then as they do exactly the same for Howard.

    That is not a Rudd problem then, that is a media problem. It is up to them what they write and how they write it. They certainly let Howard skate through many years without deep enough scrutiny or accountability – but a they could have well forced it if they had a mind to.

    If the media become unhappy with Rudd’s accountability or scrutiny then they can simply be as harsh as they like in the papers/tv/radio – and that hurts in terms of public approval. These pollies simply use the media as they are allowed.

  26. Patrick

    You are correct to an extent, but I would make this point. Howard is not being examined to the extent that you are suggesting for Rudd, so why insist on a different standard? The media has been whipped into compliance by Howard over the last 11 years, and now that Rudd has worked out how to use the results to his benefit a lot of commentators are crying foul.

    I (being of a optimistic disposition) think that with Howard gone the media are likely to swing back to a more third estate position. At least I hope so.

  27. Patrick

    Further on scrutiny, ultimatley though, I disagree with where you take your argument. Scrutiny is need to ensure that there are no obvious red flags to being PM (eg Latham’s temper, Howard’s long history of dishonesty, Bush’s draft dodging and years of alcoholism & drug abuse). But beyond that surely scrutiny is the formal task of the opposition, the Senate, the media, and all of us, while the government is in power. It is those systems that have failed us in recent years.

    Isn’t it taking it a bit far to want to pre-emptively scrutinise what Rudd might do IF he wins?

  28. Latest Centrebet. manually counted

    Wins (= $1.30)
    Coalition – 19
    Labor – 9

    Totals if current favorites win
    Coalition – 68
    Labor – 80
    Ind – 2

    Looks good!

  29. So while the public servant Malcolm Turnbull keeps his job and runs in the election, he argues that the public servant George Newhouse can’t keep his job and run for election. Its called Liberal party born to rule mentality.

    Only the court of disputed returns post-election can make a proper determination about the legitimacy of Newhouse’s nomination which has been accepted by the Electoral Commission.

    It would be unfair to pre-judge the matter without hearing all the facts and legal arguments.

  30. 728 Asanque,

    With the sins of the Liberals over the last 11+ years, it isn’t hard at all for me to work out who goes dead last 🙂 The dilemma is in figuring who goes last in slots immediately before 🙂 [Speaking Senate here] I am putting One Nation and Paulines party in just before the Libs. I haven’t got my list at my fingertips but FF and CDP are going right in there too in some order. There might be one or possibly two others and then the Nationals.

    In NSW, the Libs and Nats are running a joint Senate ticket so I need to pick and chose carefully to isolate them as they are all in the one column.

  31. ND,

    The problem with your hypothetical is that equally Labor could win with only 25% of the popular vote under your scenario. The idea that a party would get 51 % of the vote in 76 seats and zero votes in the remaining 74 seats is so absurd that it’s not worth considering. Do you have any points to make that work in the real world or just more science fiction?

  32. Lindsay voter

    I would suggest emailing it to Maxine McKew as well.

    A few weeks back I sent her a press release from Penny Wong that dealt with the libs preferencing one nation in WA, with the comment that they should make this known to the local Asian community. They were appreciative and said that they had done just that. :).

  33. red wombat @ 715,
    well, I’m not surprise.
    Desperate Howard clutches at any straw to survive: One Nation, Pauline Hanson, Exclusive Brethren…

  34. Big Tobaccoo suck up most of the failed Liberals – I expect that’s where Rattus Rattus will end up. However, less known is that Big Tobaccoo is sucking up loads of small goods type companies, mainly in the junk food domain and the fast food domain. Typically copanies that produce ‘addictive’ crap food. Some things never change.

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