Newspoll: Turnbull 34, Nelson 18

The standout finding of a very interesting post-election Newspoll survey of 1125 voters is a question on preferred Liberal leader: 34 per cent responded for Turnbull, just 18 per cent for Nelson and 14 per cent for Julie Bishop, with the optimistic Tony Abbott on 9 per cent. Rudd predictably is streets ahead of Brendan Nelson as preferred prime minister, leading 61 per cent to 14 per cent (91 per cent to 1 per cent among Labor voters).

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.

1,259 comments on “Newspoll: Turnbull 34, Nelson 18”

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  1. Max: Labor previously had a Dept of Education, Employment and Training under one minister. Once IR is put to bed then the synergies will be obvious. In the meantime there are some effective Public servants out there just waiting to give her a hand to implement the policies.

  2. Oh, for the record, I am not a member of any political party and never have been. I have said this before, but feel re-iteration might be necessary here.

  3. Max: If you were truly impartial, here is a short list of issues I consider worthy of annoyance:

    1. Regional Road Rorts Scheme
    2. AWB scandal
    3. illegal Iraq war
    4. Failure to uphold human rights
    5. Failure to ratify Kyoto

    Come back when you have something of equivalence.

  4. re 51

    I agree – assuming the workchoices repeal is passed as soon as the new Senators arrive (if not before) then IR will be almost a dead issue.

    If they do the new policy right there will be no need to do anything much from July 2 2008 until the next election.

  5. Petrie-person, the poll DID narrow in the last days as the floaters made up their minds. That’s why Labor’s seat-tally will be 84 or so and not the 90-plus people here were confidently predicting. Please remember this in 2010 – there is always a narrowing at the very end.

    The alleged 1% of self-described Labor voters who prefer Nelson to Rudd can only be our very own LTEP. Well done on getting polled.

  6. For the record I don’t particularly like Rudd either, but I’m willing to give him a chance.

    The issues you raise are of very little consequence.

    Surely you can come up with more valid grounds of criticism.

  7. Max@50, all fair arguments. However Liberals now wishing to apply ‘proper scrutiny’ will be seen dubiously given their lack of courage in confronting some of Howard’s more outrageous behaviour while in government, particularly without the check of a Senate.

    And history rather than hubris would suggest that it will be very difficult for the Liberals to win in 2010.

  8. Max: not being a member of a political party while spending so much of your time complaining about politics just makes you lazy. If there are so many problems with the new Government already, why don’t you join an opposition party and work hard to depose them instead of just whining about it?

    Or even better, why not join the ALP and contribute on reforming it from the inside so that we can have the most competent Government possible. Do you just want to criticise, or do you want to do something about it?

  9. To be fair Asanque, I’d say that the superministry scandal is at least equivalent to AWB.
    And ratifying Kyoto within 30 minutes of becoming PM will be seen by future historians (such as Gerard Henderson) as at least on a par with the illegal invasion of a soveriegn country.

    And no I don’t feel that it’s arrogant of the opposition to deny that Labour have a mandate re workchoices. For heaven’s sake it was barely mentioned during the election campaign.

  10. Asanque, as I have stated before I have a lot of respect for you as you are one of the few who look at issues from both sides of view. So let me address your points

    My argument here though is that Rudd should not ‘be given a chance’ perse. Yes he should be given the opportunity to implement his mandate – but not simply as he sees fit. Doesn’t the adage got that a government is only as good as it’s opposition?

    The points you raised in 53 we disagree on in some respect, which is go. But much of it is of Howards doing. For good or bad – and I understand 95% of people here thing good – he is gone now, and the Liberal Party is marking out it’s new ground. Saying that ‘Rudd is doing ok because hey, he didn’t go to Iraq’ is not good enough for me. Or most people for that matter. And I understand that’s not what you are saying, but you get my point?

    Powerful criticism obviously can’t come about until Rudd has had time to do what he wants, and show us how he wants to do it. That shouldn’t mean he gets a free ride until then.

    Btw, I don’t claim to be impartial. Believe it or not, I am not a right wing fascist either, I apparently ‘socially left.’ Go figure…

  11. The points you raised in 53 we disagree on in some respect, which is going to happen, as we sit on different sides of the fence on many issues.


    Sorry, forgot to finish that sentence. Multitasking isn’t my thing.

  12. Rates Analyst @ 47, Regarding Kyoto

    Yes, Rudd did just mention that we are likely to overshoot our target by 1%. However, frankly, if it was Wayne Swan doing the maths, I’m not sure I’d be trusting his calculations.

    This was in the Australian :

    KEVIN Rudd in his first act as prime minister has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but warned Australia is likely to face harsh penalties for missing its target under the treaty.

    One question, why the hell would you legally bind Australia to a commitment he says we cant keep, and will be heavily sanctioned and penalised for the breach…. How is that in the “best interests of the country”

    On top of that, Wayne Swan has already flagged over $10 Billion dollars in CUTS to currently implemented government programs, and specifically said when asked if there will be more that he

    wouldn’t commit to a number on tv tonight

    (7:30 Report)

    If ratifying Kyoto at great penalty to Australia, and cutting more than $10 billion dollars in current government programs and funding as you said “18 hours after being sworn in” isn’t arrogant (and indeed reckless) I dont know what is.

  13. Max, its been widely commented on that Gillards workload is not overly burdensome. IR once its ‘fixed’ is normally a lower profile ministry. It was only workchoices that made it the problem child it is. Commentators more experienced than me expect that once IR is bedded down she’ll have plenty of time to devote to education.

  14. 60 Max From my reading of the winds it seems that the most vehement crictisms of Rudd will come from the so called “left”.

    He seems too cautious and bureaucratic in his manageralism approach. The nation also needs a leader who can instill some excitement into the polticial process. A Keating with the common touch maybe…

  15. Matthew Flinders. How is running away from an obvious problem in the “best interest of the country”? If the last government hadn’t stuck its hea din the sand we wouldn’t be in this predicament. We need to take our medicine, and get on with the job. More ostrich behaviour just isn’t good enough.

  16. Andos, I thank you for that label.

    ‘not being a member of a political party while spending so much of your time complaining about politics just makes you lazy’

    I have barely discussed politics on this site for the past two months. Why? Because people were rarely discussing issues, and much of it was taken up by gloating over the various polls (three per week) which was oh so boring.

    However, during the last week of the campaign, a few hundred people would have stopped by to comment on PB. Maybe more. So many of the newcomers dropped in one liners equivalent ‘Howard is evil/arrogant/full of shit etc etc. I wonder if they all joined political parties? At least I am trying to address various things, rather then ‘Rudd is shit because he likes unions.’

    My post has been taken entirely out of context. My FIRST POST, at 35, was 80% about the Liberal leadership. Everything else stemmed in from a line at the end, and since then I’ve tried to back it up – one of those losing battle things.

    I have not joined the Liberal Party because in recent times I have not been impressed with them. Government should be about planning for the future, investing in it, something which I think they failed to do in recent years. I won’t join a Party whom I don’t believe in. We are all different. Now if this makes me lazy, then hey, guilty as charged – along with the majority of people about the place.


  17. 62 Matthew see the Peter Martin link earlier whereby the Kyoto lies are exposed. In other words Labor was going to ratifying Kyoto on the basis of previous Gov’t advice that we would meet the targets.

  18. MF. So cutting fat from inefficienct government programs is now reckless? Oh boy, you guys are really taking this defeat hard aren’t you. Are the sedatives playing havoc still?

  19. ed@bennelong. Tell me how is it that Bennelong

    is reported as having issued 5,159 postal votes yet the AEC has recorded receiving back 5,979 postal votes.

    The same situation in Swan

    where the AEC has recorded issuing 2,489 postal votes and received back 3,744.. as of 11:00AM today…

    has John been printing his own ballot papers??? or was it Max…

  20. middle man,

    That drives me nuts. IR needs to be ‘fixed’ then never touched upon again? Nothing should ever be left alone, things need to be looked upon, examined, improved. She is the “Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations” – surely that’s something which shouldn’t just be a six month job.

    Further, I would suggest that the new Minster for Education, who is implementing a core element of the Labor mandate, have the first, crucial six months of the term free to work out all the details of the plan, without having to worry about preparing legislation which needs to be approved by three other parties (if not the Libs) come July in order to become law. But that’s me, and my opinion differs to many others.

  21. MelbCity. Beyond my ken I’m sorry. I’e followed the discussions on Possum’s site and here and it doesn’t make sense to me.

  22. Max. I respect that. I guess the proof will be in the eating as they say. It will be something for us all to watch for. It certainly appears to be alot, but whether it proves to be too much will be shown in time.

  23. I trust Swan’s calculations more than the Australian’s reporting.

    Maybe becuase the best interests of the country involve not being an international pariah. Maybe becuase the best interests of the country include a functioning world response to climate change.

    Did you hear the applause – yes applause – for Austrlia’s actions at the Bali conference? When was the last time Austrlia was applauded like that for doing the right thing? Maybe doing the right thing will cost us. Maybe it’s still the right thing though.

    Also – having read the full interview here it seems clear that hte only penalty for releasing too much in this period is to have to “pay it back” in the next period by releasing the equivlaent amount, plus a 30% penalty less in the next period.

    So the “harsh penalties” seem pretty fiar to me.

    There might be a philosophical distinction here. I believe that we do NOT have the right to pollute at will, just becuase we can.

  24. And Max i’m not suggesting its just a fix and dont touch again scenario. Just mentioning that more experienced people than me (which isn’t hard to be) have suggested it can be managed.

  25. If the government is only as good as its opposition, then heaven help us. I’d hope it could be better, which is why I can’t see Nelson and Bishop lasting long without control of the purse-strings to support their arrogant and incompetent policies. In education, for example, Nelson connived at the flagpole and intelligent design things, as well as letting that Renaissance man Paddy McGuinness review all the ARC grants. For her part, Bishop cooked up the ultimate divide and rule strategy, forcing the universities to pour millions and millions of dollars into an ill-designed ‘Research Quality Framework’ process whose entire purpose was to pit the universities against one another and force them to play dancing bears at the minister’s behest. Labor has already called a halt to that.

    Re Newspoll, notice that hating the other side was a much stronger motivation for Coalition voters than ALP supporters (40 vs 32 per cent)? I reckon that’s the 40 per cent of Liberal/National voters the ALP could win over if they do a competent job. Howard was fighting the last Labor government, not this one.

  26. I think we can agree on that middle man, which makes the next six months very interesting. I for one am looking forward to it, even if I don’t agree with some of the policy changes. Will be good to watch.

  27. Max: that was entirely the point that I was making.

    You say: “I have not joined the Liberal Party because in recent times I have not been impressed with them.”

    It seems that you are happier standing on the sidelines hurling criticism than getting your hands dirty working to reform the party according to what you believe is in our best interests.

    This also goes to your original post at 35. You can wish for a competent opposition all that you want, or you can take part in the process and work to strengthen the party, strengthen the opposition which will in turn (hopefully) strengthen the Government for the betterment of us all.

    So yes, that does make you lazy, although I would agree with you that the majority of people are lazy. Witness the 20% who “made up their mind” in the last week of the campaign.

  28. Funny how non-Labor supporters are complaining about Rudd getting on with the job.
    There has been such busy inactivity on so many fronts in the govt over the past three years (remember it was only around Feb/March that ministers were putting the denial boot into Al Gore) it’s no wonder they are surprised at a govt actually doing something.
    But I guess if Rudd didn’t act he’d be accused of not being serious about his policies – and because he does act, he gets a spray here.
    Bit pathetic really.

  29. Don’t know if senility is catching up with me but this morning when I saw the name John Howard in a newspaper article I had to stop and think WHO HE WAS!!!

  30. Did you see the footage of Australia’s delegation being cheered at the Bali Conference?? Did it make you feel a surge of pride?? Haven’t felt that way for many years. It almost brought a tear to my eye. Hey World – Australia’s back!

  31. Max. You are spot on that Rudd and his ministers are cocky, arrogant, and over-confident. Precisely like I’ve personally witnessed the following in their first weeks after taking over the power: Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, and Howard. Then there’s the champ of arrogance, Keating and his “true believers” speech after beating unbeatable Dr. Hewson.

    If Team Rudd didn’t have fire in their bellies to change the country for whatever course they believe is better than Howard’s, then they would be just wallowing in humility and complacency. Whether they have the talent and savvy to accomplish better things for the country is a completely different matter, but so far their cocky and arrogant first fortnight is most welcome.

  32. 82
    Ferny Grover

    And how! I’m expecting to enjoy quite a lot of these ‘new paradigm’ moments, but for now, they really are something to savour with a bit of that sweet victory of Nov 24th for extra relish.

  33. KR I loved the smile that slowly came across the guy announcing the ratification as he realised the import of it. Said mountains.

  34. So Dr Horatio Hankeyblower decides the Party needs a revamp. Who is there with such incisive vision and drive, such a connection to the world and the future, such a commitment to nation building and the values of compassion and justice that the Liberals once championed??? “Of course!” he exclaims – “Ruddock and Robb!!” Horatio was last seen driving his DeLorian back to the future.

  35. Say, Ferny Grover (82), is that footage available on the Web anywhere? I haven’t seen it, but just hearing about that this morning made me very proud.

  36. Andos,

    I initially started off this post with a defence – ie look at the other people and what they are saying – but then realised that’s precisely the problem with this country. People look to what others aren’t doing and justify it as a defence. It isn’t on.

    Your post was well argued and in truth stopped me in my tracks. I suppose my next line, by default, is ‘what different can one person make?’ Which is true in some respect, but then comes the counter: what if everybody thought like that? Then nothing would change.

    Anyway, I don’t have that much else to say, but you’ve given me something to consider.

    Thanks to those who I conversed with this morning, has been an interesting chat. Believe it or not, I am not a troll, and didn’t actually come here with the intention of having a crack at Labor, I started off rambling about the Libs. The irony doesn’t escape. Cheers.

  37. Good morning KR (it’s still morning in the Sunshine State). Truth is – it actually DID bring a tear of pride to my eye. I got a little choked up for a moment there. And yes – here’s to a lot more of those moments as Australia strides into the daylight that’s been kept from it for so long. It’s good to be back and to be able to look the world in the eye again.

  38. On the narrowing… I have spoken to people on both sides and the internal polling confirmed this… there was a genuine narrowing…. it was 54.5-ish a week out…. and looked like 52.5 mid week…. but that was as close as it got.

    When Galaxy came out with 52-48, Lib insiders confirmed they had a similar number, for example.

    I agree that many of those who ‘make up their mind’ late don’t actually change their view from what it was before….. but some are genuinely undecided previously, and so in that sense do ‘make up their mind’ at the end

  39. FG says

    “Did you see the footage of Australia’s delegation being cheered at the Bali Conference?? Did it make you feel a surge of pride??”

    Indeed, I also felt humbled that our nation’s decent into darkness has been so quickly forgiven.

  40. 92
    Ferny Grover

    Isn’t it great! We can actually be proud of our own county again.

    But oh no, those ‘symbolic’ things don’t matter, oh no, not one bit. Sheesh, how did Howard ever get away with it for so long?

    The future: Bring it on!

  41. Respect, Max.
    I’m glad that we could have a useful/productive argument/conversation, instead of disgorging a flood of bile as so often happens on a lot of blogs.

  42. Adrian #59,

    WTF are you on?

    You need to get within shouting-distance of reality, or else it will bite you on the backside someday.

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